A Letter From The Ledge

Yes I am currently standing on the ledge. But I’m not about to jump off. Instead I am here with a megaphone trying to reason with the thousands of disillusioned Rangers fans who are trying to make sense of the deals that have taken place in the past few days. I’m speaking of the fans who become attracted to “names” rather than doing research into the players available. 
First there was the Dodgers signing of Zack Greinke to an outrageous contract. I know that he’s a great pitcher but he’s not an ace and definitely not worth $147 million. Then there was the trade that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals in exchange for Wil Myers and other to prospects. Ye,s the Rangers were interested in Shields and had been linked to several trade rumors but he was not worth what the Royals gave up. The final straw was the Rangers trading the face of the franchise, Michael Young, to the Phillies.

Why why why?

Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels have put together a winning team. It’s a team that is built to win for years to come especially when you take into consideration the plethora of talent in the farm system. Three consecutive playoff trips, including two World Series appearances, have fans spoiled craving more and therein lies part of the problem. They hear that the Rangers are backed by billionaires and have a huge television deal upcoming and they believe that the Rangers should spend, spend, spend. You simply cannot do that unless you want to hurt your team’s future. Signing Greinke for anything more than $120 million would have been a mistake for this team as it would have limited future spending. Giving away top prospects for Shields would have hurt this team in the future as well as there wouldn’t have been that coveted depth in the minors.

How did all of that spending help the Boston Red Sox in 2011? They traded more than half of their payroll to the Dodgers last season and are having to rebuild from scratch while overpaying for people like Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino. (As of this writing there are reports that Napoli’s deal with the Red Sox could be in jeopardy) You could also take a look at the deals that the Angels gave to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson last season and how that has hampered future spending. Then you throw in the fact that the same Angels team traded three top prospects to get just a few months of Zack Greinke’s services and there’s no doubt that they have questions looming for the next couple of years.

As far as Michael Young goes I’ll keep it short and simple. His time here was done. And keep in mind that he waived his no trade clause in order to go so you cannot lay blame on Jon Daniels.

There are also the unfounded and unfair comparisons to the Dallas Mavericks. The NBA and MLB are two different beasts with different salary constraints. I realize that the Rangers have done very little this offseason except for some minor league deals and signing Joakim Soria, but it’s still relatively early. Plus, the majority of Jon Daniels’ deals occur in January.

All that I’m really saying is that I believe in Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan. They’ve built a winner and will do what it takes to keep the Texas Rangers competitive without bankrupting the payroll and hurting the team’s ability to compete in the future.

You should believe too.

James Holland is a Senior Columnist for Shut Down Inning. He can be reached at James.Holland@shutdowninning.com or @SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.

James Holland

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