What If…

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.

Rangers Magic Number
Who is Rangers Magic Number? Who cares? I could tell you about the ex-girlfriends, ex-wives, managing bands and getting favors from Globe Life Employees parking where I am not ever supposed to be able to but all that would do is make you angry.

RMN is the fan in all of our hearts, the one who brings out the Rangers jersey in March with hope & dreams of a World Series win, carefully packing it away in October with a tear in his eye. RMN believes and loves his team, still having somewhere a Rangers Bat Day bat that he got the year after we broke bleachers banging away as we faced the Royals.

I am a lucky man, married to a Rangers fan who loves me for who I am, a crazy fan. I do have many Ranger memorabilia, but my most treasured is a Nolan Ryan baseball. My son took it out of its case one day to play catch with me before he learned how close to a heart attack a Rangers fan can get when that happens. (We still played catch with a Oddibe McDowell baseball, don't ask.) I've been to Rangers games in Dallas, Houston and will eventually make it to Surprise. I've been working as an managerial consultant for many years and spend too many afternoons in meetings & phone calls but still cheer when I get to say HELLO WIN COLUMN!

I guess I am very lucky because of the people that I have met on this journey. We have drank a lot of whiskey and celebrated more victories than losses. So I look forward to meeting you down the road.


  • A few things:

    -The Mets are not being run like a big market team right now. They’re in the bottom third in MLB payroll this year. Even with the Rangers absorbing Granderson’s deal and sending moeny in your scenario (three years of Granderson for eight of Andrus? Eh.), that’s still a contract they can’t/won’t take on. And they’re not going to tie up future money in Andrus when guys like Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, Duda and d’Arnaud (to name a few) are going to need to get paid going forward, and the Mets have a strict budget.

    -I’d take Flores over Andrus right now (even without factoring in the money). He’s got bad range, but he’s fine in all other facets of playing short (good arm, smooth hands, good around the bag). He currently leads the team in homers, too. And they’ve got depth there. Matt Reynolds has been tearing things up in AAA, their ’12 draft pick Gavin Cecchini is a SS who’s at AA, and a guy you’re going to start hearing a lot about, Ahmed Rosario, started the year in High A. They’re not going to take on a huge financial long-term risk in Andrus when they’ve got solid near-term depth.

    -Choice and Banks have no value at all. They’re dime-a-dozen, readily available types bogging down AAA rosters all over the country. In other words, they’re easy to get without putting together a deal where you lose two top 100 prospects.

    -Honesty, the Rangers could pay 99.99% of his contract, and I don’t think any team would be willing to trade one of their top prospects, let alone two.

    Bottom line on Andrus. He’s been in decline the last few seasons from his All-Star year in ’12, and that contract hasn’t even kicked in. I think moving him is the right move for the Rangers, but you’re looking at a bad contract swap (Melvin Upton?), and there won’t be any high-end prospects involved. Your trade scenario has the three best players going to the Rangers. I know you’ve argued on Twitter that this is a starting point for the conversation, but Andrus is not a fit for the Mets, and they’re not trading Syndergaard and/or Matz for a player of Andrus’ mediocre caliber.

    Back to the drawing board, brother.

    • Rangers Magic Number


      When you read my next article, you will see that I was living in dream land.

      Currently Andrus is the WORST statistical Shortstop in the ENTIRE MAJOR LEAGUE!

      But as I have said before, in all negotiations you start out with what your dream situation is before you settle for reality. Rarely do you get the house if you are lowballing the owner and they are highballing you on price.

      People MEET in the middle.

      So, when Billy puts up my next article, you’ll see…

      Reality is tough but we HAVE to get rid of Andrus before next year.

      The clock is ticking!


      I wouldn’t put Tejada in a little league game at SS. This was merely an exercise.


      All negotiations start at extremes and end up in the middle. After all, we all didn’t get the hottest woman in our high school. Some settled for less. Some discovered that the hottest woman in high school was a raging lunatic that liked to cut hersef, but you found that out after you married her and paid for her boob job.


      You are right, I didn’t say who I would start at SS. But I think there is someone we all can agree on.

      As for Martin Perez. He is shut down after his left elbow surgery. We need a lefty now and DDTWeiler isn’t the solution.


      • RMN,

        I appreciate the response, but as a Mets fan, I can assure you there is no middle ground here. As you said, Andrus is arguably the worst shortstop statistically in baseball right now. I am 100% that the Mets wouldn’t even bite on the Rangers eating 99% of his contract. He’s a bad, overpaid player, and that means near-zero value on the trade market. I agree with Chin; if the Mets want mediocrity at short, they can go with Tejada at a fraction of the cost of what it would take to get Andrus.

        You’ve got a really nice blog here (congrats on the Hamilton scoop!), but there’s no easy way to spin Elvis off of your roster. 🙂

        • Rangers Magic Number

          Fine, let’s play what if? What if the Rangers took, I dunno, 99% of his salary and you had to pay lets see 7M total for 3 years with an opt out after 2.

          Would you do it?


  • If the Mets want mediocrity at shortstop, they can put Tejada there and keep their two stud prospects. Terrible trade for the Mets.

  • Why in the world would the mets ever consider, much less do, this trade? Andrus is one of the worst contracts in baseball and you honestly think they’d give up two of the best pitching prospects in the game to be burdened with his terrible contract? Try Dillon Gee for Andrus and $20M cash- and you’d be lucky to get that..

  • I noticed you didn’t bother to discuss exactly WHO you recommend the Rangers fill in at SS after trading Elvis. You gonna throw Hanser Alberto out there? And a LHP that induces ground balls… Did you forget about Martin Perez?

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