The Texas Rangers All-Traded Team
How many times have you been watching a baseball game on picture box or listening to a game on the sound machine and say to yourself, hey that’s a former Rangers great! Boy, there have been some great Texas Rangers trades over the years.
How many times do you look back on trades that the Rangers have made and say, what the hell was the GM thinking?!
We all do it seemingly every day, at the very least, we’ve all done it at some point.
So I thought I would go through and attempt to put together the All-Rangers Traded Away Team. It could be an All-Star team, at least the offense could be.
The criteria are simple. To qualify, a player must have been traded by the Rangers to a new team and went on to have a quality career after being traded. There are several players that were traded away at the twilight of their career whom I did not include on this team.
So without further ado, here we go:
Catcher: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Since being traded (162 game average): .232 BA, 23 HR, 75 RBI
Admittedly, Saltalamacchia wins this by default. The Rangers haven’t traded away any catchers of note, let alone catchers that have gone on to perform at at least replacement level. Salty, has never hit for an average but he has shown decent power with a semi-productive OPS.
Defensively, Salty has been pretty awful. He doesn’t rank well in pitch framing and he has a well below average arm. However, he did win a ring with Boston, so he’s doing something right.
First Base: Mark Teixeira
Since being traded (162 game average): .262/.358/.864 27 HR, 84 RBI
This was pretty easy. Tex after being traded went on to be a 3-time All-Star, win three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. That is on top of having MVP votes in five different seasons. Tex also led the league in runs, home runs, RBI, total bases, and sacrifice flies in various seasons on top of winning a World Series with the Yankees in 2009.
Teixeira was also the focal point of the most successful trade in Rangers history. We all know that trade and we all know what is has done for the franchise. That aside, Tex has gone on to have a pretty great career despite being somewhat of an a-hole towards the Rangers and us fans.
Second Base: Ian Kinsler
Traded for: Prince Fielder
Since being traded (162 game average): .283/.328/.765 18 HR, 80 RBI
Well, this one hurts, doesn’t it? Or does it? Ian Kinsler was a fan favorite despite fans creating the hashtag of #IKPU. That, of course, stands for Ian Kinsler Pop Up because of the incessant amount of popups he would hit and his absolute dismal body language after doing so.
Kinsler has had a pretty good run with Detroit and, well, we all know about the unfortunate circumstance surrounding Prince Fielder. There is also the fact that the other second basemen the Rangers have traded away were pretty terrible. Remember, this has nothing to do with what opportunities arose by trading Kinsler, rather just showing some of the good players the Rangers have traded away.
Shortstop: Alex Rodriguez
Traded for: Alfonso Soriano, Joaquin Arias
Since being traded (162 game average): .283/.378/.900 19 HR, 91 RBI
This was one of those trades that had to happen regardless of performance. A-Rod hampered the Rangers payroll and they weren’t going to improve their squad enough to contend as long as he was on the payroll. The Rangers wanted to rebuild and that was not going to happen with A-Rod.
We all know the career he has had, finishing just four home runs shy of 700. His career has been marred by steroid use and a rocky relationship with Yankee management and star Derek Jeter. His fall from grace was faster and harder than the Josh Hamilton dropped pop-fly one sunny afternoon in Oakland.
However, A-Rod did win two MVPs, three Silver Sluggers and had seven All-Star appearances. Regardless of what you think about A-Rod, his bat would have fit nicely in this park for the rest of his career had the business allowed it.
Third Base: Chris Davis
Traded for: Koji Uehara
Since being traded (162 game average): .251/.341/.865, 44 HR, 111 RBI
Chris Davis had to go. It’s as simple as that. He wasn’t going to perform here. He had too much pressure to perform in front of his friends and family for his hometown team. Davis had more than 950 plate appearances and 880 at bats in a Rangers uniform and just couldn’t seem to put it all together.
Since being traded to Baltimore in 2011, Davis has led the league in home runs (twice), RBI, total bases but also in strikeouts (including this year). If you wish that Davis was still a Ranger, wish no more because Joey Gallo is the next Chris Davis.
Left Field: Alfonso Soriano
Since being traded (162 game average): .264/.320/.821 35 HR, 97 RBI
Soriano didn’t move to left-field until after he left Texas but he still managed to be an offensive force. Not quite what he was with Texas and New York, but still very productive. He was a three-time All-Star, a Silver Slugger and garnered MVP votes in three more seasons.
Soriano, as we know, was acquired in the deal for A-Rod. But did you know that the Rangers could have had Robinson Cano AND Soriano? They chose Joaquin Arias instead. Think about that for a minute. If they land Cano in 2004, does Ian Kinsler ever see the Rangers? Does he move positions? Is he traded? Things could have looked a lot different around these parts had they chosen the right prospect.
Center Field: Sammy Sosa
Since being traded (162 game average): .273/.344/.878, 42 HR, 115 RBI
That’s right. The Rangers signed Sosa as an amateur free agent on July 30th, 1985. He played 25 games for the Rangers during the ’89 season and was traded four years later nearly to the day on July 29th, 1989.
While Sosa’s career was marred by PED use and accusations, there is no doubt this is one trade the Rangers (and White Sox) probably would like to do over again. Sosa led the league in home runs (2x), RBI (2x), runs (3x), total bases (3x) and strikeouts (3x). He was also an MVP, seven-time All-Star, six-time Silver Slugger and gained MVP votes in eight other seasons. Sosa captivated America during the 1998 season with his home run battle with Mark McGwire. It came at a time when baseball really needed it – just four years after the strike wiped out the remaining 1994 season and World Series.
Right Field: Adrian Gonzalez
Since being traded (162 game average): .292/.362/.860, 27 HR, 101 RBI
I originally had Scott Podsednik here because I felt this team needed speed. Then I realized this is all a fantasy and it doesn’t matter if my defense sucks and my base-running is awful. Not to mention how much of an atrocity it would have been had I left A-Gonz off this team entirely. Besides, I’ll just hire Rudy Jaramillo as my hitting coach.
Gonzalez is a five-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, two-time Silver Slugger and has garnered MVP votes in eight different seasons. Gonzalez led the league in hits, RBI, walks and sacrifice flys in various seasons but also led the league twice in grounding into double plays. See, I knew I should have left Pods here for speed.
A-Gonz has not had a season in which he posted a bWAR less than 3.0 except for 2007 when he posted a 2.5 – his second year in San Diego.
Designated Hitter: Edwin Encarnacion
Traded for: Rob Bell
Since being traded (162 game average): .267/.352/.861, 33 HR, 101 RBI
The Parrott Runner wouldn’t have even made this list had it not been for the last six seasons. Encarnacion was merely average until he joined forces with Jose Bautista in Toronto. EE had only two seasons of bWAR over 1.0. Now, he has never had a season below 3.3 (this season) and has averaged 37 home runs over the last five seasons. You know how many 20 home run seasons EE had before Toronto? Two.
I’m not saying, I’m just saying, know what I’m saying?
Anyway, he’s on the list because he’s been productive. This is probably a trade that doesn’t really seem like a loss or a “wish we hadn’t made that trade.” Being such a later bloomer, the Rangers joined the Reds on thinking that EE was expendable.
Starting Pitcher: Edinson Volquez
Traded for: Josh Hamilton
Since being traded (162 game average): 13-10 4.54 ERA 171 K’s
I had a tough time adding Volquez to this list because let’s face it, he isn’t that good. But because the Rangers seem to always struggle with pitching, Volquez would have been quite an upgrade over some of the players that the team has thrown out there in recent years.
Eddie V won’t light up the radar gun and he won’t lead the league in any meaningful categories but when healthy, he can show flashes of greatness and eat some innings. I’d probably plug him into the back end of my rotation and he would make a mighty fine fourth or fifth starter for this fantasy team.
Starting Pitcher: Ron Darling
Traded for: Lee Mazzilli
Since being traded (162 game average): 12-11 3.87 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 145 K’s
Darling is in the same boat as Volquez. His best seasons were his first seven and after that, he was merely average, at best. However, since it seems like all the pitchers the Rangers trade away never really amount to anything, I had to have someone to help fill out the rotation.
We’ll let him and Volquez fight it out for the fourth and fifth spots.
Starting Pitcher: Bert Blyleven
Since being traded (162 game average): 14-12 3.71 ERA, 3.56 FIP, 164 K’s
The Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven might be a surprising name to some of you. Blyleven was only here for two short seasons in the mid 70’s and was already an established big leaguer. Coming over from the Twins, Blyleven was already an All-Star having led the league twice in FIP, ERA+ and shutouts. It was really after he left Texas that he went on to shine.
Blyleven finished in the top four of the Cy Young voting three times after leaving, including a fourth place finish in his age 38-season. A season in which he went 17-5 with a 2.73 ERA, 3.08 FIP with five shutouts over 241 innings of work. In 1985 Blyleven started 37 games and had 24 complete games while tossing 293.2 innings! I know it was a different time back then but, holy hell, 300 innings?!
Starting Pitcher: Tanner Roark
Traded for: Cristian Guzman
Since being traded (162 game average): 14-9 3.03 ERA, 3.69 FIP, 141 K’s
Yea, this one definitely hurts. Guzman was an absolute dumpster fire while with Texas and Roark has become a mainstay in the Nationals rotation. He was banished to the bullpen in 2015 for no good reason at all and struggled a bit. After returning to the rotation this season, he has quietly posted a 14-8 record with a 2.85 ERA.
Roark could fill in nicely as a number three in this here make believe rotation and I’m sure JD would love to have this guy in his rotation for real. However, the Rangers were making a postseason run and felt that they needed a utility infielder and felt that Roark was expendable. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.
Speaking of losing….
Starting Pitcher: Kyle Hendricks
Traded for: Ryan Dempster
Since being traded (162 game average): 14-8 2.91 ERA, 3.36 FIP, 172 K’s
I mean, where do we start? Hendricks could very well win the National League Cy Young Award this year. His 2.03 ERA leads the league as does his 197 ERA+. He has been nothing short of awesome since joining the Cubs but has gone relatively unnoticed because of some dude name Jake Arrieta or something.
There weren’t many people that liked this trade from the moment it happened. It’s not even hindsight at this point, many people saw this as a terrible trade. Maybe not so much as giving up Hendricks but more so for acquiring Dempster.
You know what the worst part about losing Hendricks is? He isn’t arbitration eligible until 2018. That could come in handy right about now. I know it’s only been three seasons but I am going to slot him in here as my ace. Fight me.
Relief Pitcher: Pedro Strop
Traded for: Mike Gonzalez
Since being traded (162 game average): 68 App, 2.91 ERA, 3.15 FIP, 69 K’s, 62 IP
Strop wasn’t very good for Texas in the two-plus seasons that he was around. He was shipped to Baltimore in 2011 where he apparently flipped the switch and became John Wetteland. Strop succeeded for the Rangers East team for two years before imploding in 2013. He was traded later that season along with Arrieta to Chicago.
Apparently, after being traded to Chicago, he became Mariano Rivera without the saves. He has a career 2.69 ERA (2.81 FIP) with Chicago but the biggest change in his stats are his 10.8 K/9. Before Chicago, he only had two seasons where he averaged more than 9.0 (not counting 2009 when he appeared in just seven games). Whatever they’re doing in the Windy City is certainly working.
That is a bullpen arm this team could desperately use right about now.
Relief Pitcher: Justin Duchscherer
Traded for: Luis Vizcaino
Since being traded (162 game average): 60 App, 2.82 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 92 K’s, 121 IP
Dukes, as I am going to call him because I don’t want to keep typing that long ass weird spelling name, wasn’t around the league all that long. Just eight seasons to be exact. However, he was a two-time All-Star who battled injuries most of his career.
He was a decent middle reliever for the A’s before they converted him to a starter and his career was over by the age of 33. Why is he on this list? Well, I needed more than just two relievers for the ‘pen and the despite what most of you think, most players teams trade away never amount to anything. So my selection for the bullpen wasn’t very large.
Relief Pitcher: Dave Righetti
Since being traded (162 game average): 61 App, 3.46 ERA, 3.38 FIP, 94 K’s, 118 IP
Rags, as he was often called, is the perfect fit for this piece. He was a prospect that never saw time with Texas and was traded to the Yankees two years after being drafted 10th overall. Righetti immediately won AL Rookie of the Year in 1981 when he led the league in ERA+, FIP, H/9, HR/9 (gave up just one home run in 105.1 IP) and SO/9. All of this as a middle reliever.
Righetti was moved to the Yankees closer in 1984 and closed until 1992 when the Giants moved him back to late inning relief. Rags acquired some 252 saves over his seven seasons as closer while allowing just 43 home runs over 685.2 innings pitched. That’s pretty damn impressive. Especially since AJ Griffin has given up about 78 (26 but whatever) this year alone.
Closer: Rob Nen
Traded for: Cris Carpenter
Since being traded (162 game average): 68 App, 2.98 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 33 SV, 10.0 K/9
Trading Rob Nen wasn’t a big thing for Texas. While Nen was doing his thing in San Francisco, the Rangers had a guy by the name of John Wetteland. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?
Nen was a three-time All-Star and garnered MVP and Cy Young votes in the same season with the Giants. He led the league in games finished (irrelevant stat) and saves (arguably irrelevant) four different times and helped the Marlins win a ring in 1997 even though he wasn’t very good in the World Series. He’ll get the nod from me when we have a lead in the 9th inning.
This All-Traded Team is going to win it all this year! Flags fly forever and I’m not trading any of them.
Did I miss anyone? Tell me who I snubbed (or just flat out forgot about) and let’s discuss.