2015 seems to be a year of possibilities. The team is still rebuilding after a disastrous 2014 where more Rangers visited the DL than people who ate a Boomstick by themselves. We checked. But the team is going to have to make some painful moves that fans may not understand or like.
So why not examine some opportunities that may be realistic, unrealistic or just insane. You know me, I live in a realm of insanity, counting down year after year trying to get to zero, just to start all over again. There are plenty of trade candidates that could intrigue others but don’t make financial sense.
But what if the Rangers traded Elvis Andrus?
Yes, in the end, we knew that Elvis Andrus would have to go on the trading block soon. His cap number is just too high for his performance. We know his playful banter with Adrian Beltre is why we love him, but his WAR is approaching Mario Mendoza territory and his contract is A-Rod expensive for Jimmy Rollins type of production. Now this doesn’t come without risks. You are forcing one of your younger players to take over and because of this you lose a veteran in the clubhouse.
In 2016, Elvis gets to block trades to 10 different major league clubs. How many of you think that the Mets are on this list? Starting in 2018 Elvis can opt-out of the contract. Also once he is traded a FULL no trade clause kicks in. It’s a game of hot potato and the Rangers aren’t wearing oven mitts. By doing this, you allow a portion of your salary cap woes that have hurt you the last couple of years to slowly fade away. You improve your WAR and make rebuilding the true meaning of 2015.
But who needs a get on base shortstop, has a true need, and has the ability to help out the Rangers?
The New York Mets
In New York, big contracts are the norm and performance is important, but being a showman is even more important. Who wouldn’t wanna have fun with David Wright? It would also tighten up the center of a Mets infield that in just 10 games already has seven errors. Wilmer Flores has not been, nor is he the long term solution to a Mets infield. So Elvis adds a bat that can lead off, steal bases or even hit 8th where Wilmer is batting now.
BUT RMN, the Mets aren’t going to take another high contract, what about salary cap issues? Follow me & the money.
The Rangers right now have a need for an outfielder. You have Carlos Peguero, Delino DeShields, and Jake Smolinski in the left field by committee. Why not trade Elvis Andrus, Michael Choice, Kyle Banks and some cash for Curtis Granderson, Steven Matz and the rights of Noah Syndergaard?
Curtis Granderson gives you a consistent outfielder with speed that can add some danger to the base paths. Matz and Syndergaard improve the one major weakness of the Rangers right now, depth in the starting pitchers. You don’t have a place for Michael Choice or Kyle Banks, so send their $1.5M in salaries away along with Elvis’ albatross of a contract. Scott Boras will be thanking us for instituting the no-trade clause in his contract and the Mets only can wait the contract out. Granderson & Elvis are making the same amount of money this year, $15M, and it gives the Mets stability for their playoff run.
The Rangers farm system is one of the deepest in the major leagues and it is time to put that to the test. Time to clean out the cupboards of the stuff that you thought you needed and get ready for company. The weakness of the Rangers in the last 10 years has been starting pitching. Bring up Matz & Syndergaard and give them a chance to pitch in the majors.
Have I mentioned that Steven Matz is a left hander that won’t have free-agency eligibility until 2021? Have I also failed to mention that Matz is a ground ball pitcher that already has had a Tommy John surgery? During his time in spring training his ERA was a hair above 2.0 (2.08 to be exact). When was the last left hander ground ball pitcher that the Rangers have had? Matz has a great fastball, with an effective curveball and a developing slider & change up.
Syndergaard also will be under the free-agency thumb until 2021. He showed great stuff during last year’s All-Star futures game with a four-seam fastball and a seductive curve ball that has left many batters scratching their heads. He needs to work on his circle change and his two seem fastball. Thor, as he is nicknamed, is a Texas boy, born in Mansfield and was going to go to school at Dallas Baptist but instead took the minor league route. Bring this Texas boy home!
Dear Jon Daniels,
I plead with you. MAKE THIS TRADE. Show some mahbals and get this done. The Rangers need the pitching help and we can all agree that without this trade, the Rangers are going to be dealing with rebuilding in 2016 with a 10 team trade block in Elvis’ back pocket.
But then again, this is just a “what-if” scenario.