What If.. Part 2

The Rangers SHOULD trade Elvis Andrus, but to who?

Some of you have pointed out how my first article was too:

“A lot of salary cap talked based in a game without a salary cap,” which is true TECHNICALLY. Major League Baseball employs the Luxury Tax penalty, which keeps teams from buying every player for a championship (cough cough Dodgers, Skankees, Phillies, Red Sox and Tigers) It does NOT penalize teams for not investing in their team, (cough cough, Miami , Houston, Tampa, Pittsburgh and Cleveland) though it should.[1]

“One sided, the Mets would never take this deal,” which again is true.  Have you ever negotiated before? When you were in school and Mom packed you a peanut butter & grape jelly sandwich for the 14th time that month, you would have traded it and a Buddy Bell rookie card for WHATEVER the cafeteria was serving.[2]  It isn’t a matter of what I wanted but what I’ll actually accept. I was willing to take the Mets two top farm players and a washed out center fielder for my washed out shortstop. The Mets would have countered my offer with a request to take Elvis Andrus, Luke Tendler, Joey Gallo and $80 million for Steven Matz & Dillon Gee.

Any trade starts at two extremes and comes together in an agreement that both can sell to their respective fan bases and owners.[3] Now some acquisitions are no brainers like Yu Darvish. Texas fans will pay his six year, $60 million dollar contract over and over again for the wins that he will bring the team.  But what teams would be interested in Elvis Andrus?

How about the Miami Marlins?

Yes, they have Adeiny Hechavarria, a serviceable .251 career hitter.  But adding more salaries and making an effort to bring the team closer to everyone else would make Major League Baseball happier. Also Hechavarria is a rental – his contract ends this year. Where are you going to find a shortstop that can bring some excitement on the base paths while having fun with Martin Prado on defense? Yes Elvis can do that!

What could you get back from the Marlins as they are nothing but the AAAA league farm club for MLB?  How about you shed some of Elvis’ contract and get Dan Haren[4], journeyman starter that might have a year or two left under his belt. Have him prove himself and you’ve automatically improved your starters with a solid 4th pitcher.

After the recent self-destruction of the Rangers bullpen, I’d be really happy for former Texas Tech Red Raider A.J. Ramos to bring his extra-long middle finger and his unconventional “I love pressure,” to the Rangers. Imagine having someone in the bullpen that when the bullpen phone rings, you don’t cringe.

I want someone with balls to be the reliever that we all can depend on. Someone who has the testicles to say, “Someone will come up to me and call me a good pitcher, and I’ll say, ‘No, I’m a damn good pitcher.”[5]

How about the San Diego Padres?

Send them Andus to mentor Alexi Amarista.  You really think that Clint Barmes is going to be able to help develop him into being a star? No, Barmes is worried about making it through his contract and getting a job either as a scout in Indiana or helping the Sycamores get back into the NCAA Regionals.

The Padres are going to be chasing the Dodgers all year long to stay close, so I am sure that the Padres will not get rid of any of their pitchers which truly is what the Rangers need, especially a left hander. Cory Luebke is on the 60 day M*A*S*H 4077 list so he’s out. But if I waive my need for a left hander requirement like I did for the Marlins, one person stands out – Joaquin Benoit.

I don’t think the Padres are even thinking about trading Benoit unless their other starts implode and the rebuilding starts in earnest, but if I could have any pitcher from the Padres, Benoit is it. Bring him back home for a couple of years and tell the bullpen that the 7th is owned by Shawn Tolleson, the 8th by Neftali Feliz and the 9th by Benoit. Hell, give the California Kid Keone Kela the 6th, our starters are still hurting.

If the Rangers could get someone from the Padres farm, my choice is Zech Lemond. Has a NASTY spike curveball and decent heat 93-97 on the fastball. He won’t be ready for another year or two, but I deal with potential.

Finally, how about the New York Yankees?

First, the Yankees could give a rats rear about the “salary cap”. They are still paying for A-fraud. So how about the Rangers send another overpaid shortstop their way. Some Rangers fans are kicking themselves for rooting for him but thank the baseball gods that he is no longer on our payroll anymore.  Now A-Rod is DH’ing until the Yankees kick him out for some minimal reason, the Yanks are stuck with Didi Gregorius, and his barely over the league minimum salary, as their starting SS.

What does Gregorius give the Yankees? About .225 with no more than five stolen bases. He’s got nothing but diminishing returns.

Do the Yankees rush Jorge Mateo [6], which one club official said ‘had the highest ceiling of any middle-infield prospect’? Or do they do nothing but let him mature until 2018 while he works his way up from the Charleston RiverDogs.

The Yankees solution is easy. Grab Andrus, and let go of Luis Severino, the International phenom that actually struck out Joey Gallo at the All-Star Futures Game. The Rangers shouldn’t mind getting a prospect and giving up money for pitching.

Options are out there!

The Mets, Yankees, Padres, hell even the Marlins could use the help of an experienced short stop. The price shouldn’t matter to any of them because all of them, except the Marlins, will get used to paying the Luxury Tax in exchange for winning.

I didn’t go over the top this time, I didn’t trade Gallo and a L screen for Steven Matz, but I am considering it.  Remember 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 his contract. Also once he is traded a FULL no trade clause kicks in. Trade him, get something of value and move on with the rebuild of this team. The team, as it stands now will not win a playoff game, nor the World Series!

Don’t like my suggestions, GIVE ME YOURS.  This is a two way street and I’ll try to reply to every offer.

Trading in baseball is like kids trading baseball cards. I might have gotten rid of Barry Larkin rookie, but I didn’t have to eat a macaroni & cheese sandwich.


[2] Technically it was a macaroni & cheese sandwich that my dad made when he was drunk off his ass and a Barry Larkin card, but I digress.

[3] Jon Daniels is still trying to sell us the the 9 yr. $214m #PurpleRain deal or the 7 yr. $130M #RideTheTrain deals

[4] I know, former LA Angels. I’m dying here also.

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.

One comment

  • Hechavarria is not a rental; the Marlins control him through I believe 2018. It’s pretty common for pre-free agency players to have their contracts renewed on a yearly basis. So while his current contract ends after the season, he’s not eligible for free agency until 2019; the Marlins will renew the contract next winter/spring.

    You won’t get any top prospects (like Severino) for Andrus, even if the Rangers were to pay the majority of his contract; teams don’t give up prospects for overpaid, under-performing players like Andrus (especially at an eight-year commitment!). You want him traded? It will be for similar bad contracts, or the Rangers will pay a lot of his contract and get little back.

    Possible deals:

    Andrus and cash to SD for Melvin Upton
    Andrus and cash to Philly for Ryan Howard
    Andrus and cash (a lot) to NYY for non-prospect minor leaguers
    Andrus and cash to LAD for Andre Ethier and/or Carl Crawford (assuming the Dodgers eventually move Seager to third base)

    I don’t see the Marlins or Mets going for him, so there is no realistic trade scenario there.

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