Tagged: Roy Halladay

Goodbye, Cliff Lee

Well folks, it’s over. Cliff Lee is not a Ranger or a Yankee, he’s a … Philly??

When I heard the news, I was as surprised as everyone else. Who would have thought that Cliff Lee would decide to go to the Phillies for less money and a shorter contract?

But it just goes back to what I’ve been saying since he entered free agency… no one knew where Cliff Lee would decide to go. Only Cliff and his family could make that decision, and they chose Philadelphia for their own reasons.

It obviously wasn’t because of money or length of contract, so it must have come down to a personal decision about where he and his family wanted to go.

I’m not mad at Cliff Lee. Why would I be? I mean sure, I wish Cliff was coming back to the Rangers. But just because he didn’t pick my team doesn’t mean that I hate him now.

But how about the Phillies starting rotation now? Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, AND Cliff Lee? Sheesh. It looks like the Phillies will be heading back to the fall classic in 2011.

At least he’s not going to New York. HA!!! TAKE THAT, YOU HEATHENS!!

So now I think the Rangers need to put all of their eggs in Zack Greinke’s basket. (Wait, that doesn’t sound right…)

Let me rephrase: They should do whatever is necessary to get Zack Greinke. If that means giving up Martin Perez or Tanner Scheppers, okay then. Just not both of them please!

Derek Holland? Fine. Jurickson Profar? Okay. Robbie Erlin? Sure. Leury Garcia? No problem.

Yes, it could come back to bite us later. The same could be said for any trade. But it’s not like we’re trading away all of our young talent for some has-been.

Grienke is still young, and he still has a lot of upside. And we NEED a top of the rotation starter!

CJ Wilson and Colby Lewis can’t carry us all year by themselves.

Recently, I’ve also heard that Matt Garza (Tampa Bay) could be a possible trade option. If we don’t get Zack Greinke, I would be perfectly happy with Garza!

So the same principle applies for Garza: I think the Rangers should do whatever they have to do to get one of them!

In other news, the Rangers were able to re-sign Matt Treanor for the 2011 season. That’s great, because he knows our pitching staff and he can help Torrealba get acclimated. And he’s dependable, so I feel confident with him as our back-up guy.

He’s also CJ’s preferred catcher. We don’t want to mess with CJ!

So now we’re just waiting for a front-line starter and a DH. There aren’t too many big names on the free agent market, so if the Rangers want somebody good, they have to be willing to trade some prospects.

I’ll let you know as soon as something happens!

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Book signing, more trades, injuries, and ownership

My dad and I have decided that we’re going to Jamey Newberg’s book signing party on Thursday! We already pre-ordered the books, so they’ll be ready for us to pick up at the party. Rusty Greer, Ian Kinsler, Scott Feldman, Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, and Chris Davis will all be there to sign autographs. Yay!!

I have Rusty Greer & Derek Holland’s autographs already, but not the other 4 guys. Last year I almost got Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis’ autographs, but I couldn’t close the deal. Each player will sign up to 3 items per person, so I can get all of them to sign the book, baseballs, and Daddy’s glove. I hope it’s not too crowded. Anyway, moving on…

In another huge 3-team trade, Cliff Lee (formerly of the Philadelphia Phillies) is going to Seattle and Roy Halladay (formerly of the Seattle Mariners) is going to Toronto. The full details haven’t been released yet, but when you’re dealing with 2 high-quality starting pitchers like Halladay and Lee, the deal is sure to be enormous.

Great, that’s just what we need: for a team in our division to go into next year with Cliff Lee AND Chone Figgens.

John Lackey (formerly of the Angels) has been signed by the Boston Red Sox to a 5-year, $85 million dollar deal. That works out to $17 million per year. Yikes.

But don’t feel bad for the Angels yet. They may have lost John Lackey, but they signed DH/OF Hideki Matsui (formerly of the Yankees) to a one-year deal. Lovely.

The Rangers look like they’re in for a bumpy ride within the AL West this year.

No news on the Mike Lowell/Max Ramirez trade. Apparently it’s being held up because of all the injuries involved (i.e. Mike Lowell’s hip and thumb, Max Ramirez’s injured wrists).

After it appeared that Jim Crane had fallen out of the ownership race, he has suddenly emerged as the frontrunner. Around Thanksgiving, Crane, Gilbert, and Greenberg all submitted their original bids to buy the team.

Then they had a deadline of December 7th (last Monday) to submit bid modifications, which Gilbert and Greenberg did, but Crane didn’t. It was sort of assumed that Crane had taken himself out of the race. But then, last Thursday, Crane submitted his modifications 3 days late.

Crane’s proposal is rumored to be around $530 mil, and supposedly economics is what is driving this ownership deal. But Crane had a “handshake agreement” to buy the Astros in 2008 that fell through, and that makes Major League officials wary about him getting final approval to buy the Rangers.

Today is the deadline set by Comissioner Bud Selig for Tom Hicks to chose one bidder to go into final negotiations with. But Hicks has apparently been dragging his feet throughout this whole process, and he’s doing everything he can to try to find a way to keep the team. So he just might pick Crane to negotiate with, knowing that the deal might not go through, just to give himself more time to try to find a way to keep the Rangers. Who knows?

RoughRiders game

Last week, I checked Evan Grant’s D Magazine blog (as I do frequently) to get some up-to-date news on the Rangers. So imagine my surprise when I saw that the most recent post was entitled “Act now on a special invitation!” There weren’t many details, but it said that the event would have to do with the Frisco RoughRiders (the Texas Rangers’ AA minor league team) and it would be on Monday night, August 10. I emailed Evan to get more info, like it asked. And I found out that I might be able to get free tickets to the RoughRiders’ game and talk baseball with Evan. I definitely expressed interest, and I was told that he would get back to all the responders to tell them if they had tickets or not.
Evan Grant
I had all but forgotten about this when I got an email from Evan Grant at about noon yesterday. Now, remember, I took the day off work yesterday because I couldn’t quit throwing up. Could I really make it to a RoughRiders game? This was a huge opportunity, to hang out with a journalist who travels with the Rangers and get to pick his brain about all sorts of things. Plus, free tickets to a baseball game! Score! But I just didn’t know if I could do it.
Well, my mom dropped off the PowerAde, and it helped sooo much! I could tell that I was seriously dehydrated, because as I drank it, the inside of my body kind of felt like a sponge soaking up the liquid. I slowly drank the PowerAde for a few hours, and I had no problems with that, so I tried some crackers. And they were good! I hadn’t realized I was hungry! After that, I knew I was going to be okay. I was still weak, but I hadn’t thrown up in 8 hours, and I was keeping food down. So I jumped in the shower and started getting ready. My car was still in the shop, so I had to catch the DART bus to the DART train station to get to my dad’s house. I had a few minutes on the train where I thought “oh no, I’m getting nauseous, maybe this wasn’t a good idea!” But I was already committed, I was going to finish this. I picked up my car, and luckily they cleaned the carpets and got rid of the musty mildewy gross smell in my floorboards, or else I might have lost it all over again. So Daddy and I headed out to Frisco.

Blake Beavan
They opened the gates 30 minutes earlier than normal for us, and we got to have a Q & A with some of the players. I met Mitch Moreland (RF) and got his autograph, and I met Blake Beavan (P). I also got to meet the “voice of the Frisco RoughRiders,” Scott Garner. And then when I was walking around before the game started, I saw Beau Jones (P), and I said “Hey, I know you! I saw you on t.v.!” I had watched a t.v. special about the RoughRiders on FSN Southwest, and I quoted what he had said back to him. I think he was pretty impressed, and he gave me an autograph, even though I don’t think he was supposed to.

Daddy and I were able to stop by the gift shop before the game, and we each bought a RoughRiders T-shirt and a hat. Then we went to our seats, and I watched the game for the first few innings. The RoughRiders were playing the San Antonio Missions, and the Missions were leading 3-0 after the first inning. Then the Missions scored another 6 runs in the top of the 3rd inning, making it 9-0, and I gave up on watching the game. I drifted over to where some people in our group were talking to Evan, and I stayed there for the rest of the game. That was a lot more interesting!

 
Mostly I just listened, but I got to ask some questions too. Here are a few things Evan talked about:
Josh Hamilton’s latest controversy (which broke my heart, btw),
the Mark Teixiera trade,
Martin Perez (a highly touted High-A pitching prospect),
Neftali Feliz (21-year-old pitching phenom just up from AAA),
Ian Kinsler (2B, currently on the Disabled List for a sore hamstring),
Jarrod Saltalamacchia (our primary catcher),
chance that Julio Borbon (OF) will stay in the Bigs next year,
possible new ownership of the Texas Rangers,
Brandon McCarthy (pitcher on the DL),
the Roy Halladay almost-trade,
Marlon Byrd (OF),
Eddie Guardado (P),
high # of AAA players that have made it to the Rangers this year,
chance of Omar Vizquel playing/coaching for the Rangers next year,
Willie Eyre (P)
and many other things that I can’t remember right now.
 
I asked Evan the following questions:
Chris Davis
KB: What are Chris Davis’ chances of being called back up this year?
EG: They’ll call up Davis at the first of September. They’ll need another infielder, and he’s great defensively.
Yay!! Don’t worry Chris, you’re coming home soon!
 
Thomas Diamond
KB: Why do the Rangers have AA pitcher Thomas Diamond on their 40-man roster? You’d think they would only want AAA players, who actually have a chance of being called up, on the 40-man. Would Thomas really just skip right over AAA?
EG: They wanted to keep him from going anywhere in the Rule 5 Draft. There’s probably no realistic chance of him being called up to the Rangers right now.

.

KB: Why did you decide to give away free tickets to a RoughRiders game and hang out with a bunch of Rangers fans tonight? I mean, obviously we love it, because we get free tickets and a chance to talk to you. But why do you do it?
EG: I want to give Rangers fans more of a chance to find out what’s going with the team and ask questions. I want people to be able to go to Inside Corner on D Magazine’s website and feel like they can truly interact with it, instead of just reading the news. I know that readers like it when they comment on the website and I actually respond. I feel like I’m more than just a blogger; I’m a journalist who blogs about the Rangers, as opposed to a fan. Jamey Newberg does a fantastic job on his website blogging as a fan. I think it’s great that Rangers fans have so many ways to interact with the team, through things like Newberg Night and events like tonight.
 
[These aren’t his literal quotes, because I didn’t have a tape recorder. They’re just the main gist of his answers.]
 
When the RoughRiders were still losing 10-0 at the top of the 7th inning, we decided to call it a night. They ended up losing 14-0. Glad I didn’t stay! 馃檪 But I want to send out a big thanks to Evan Grant of D Magazine for a fabulous experience!
 
My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband
 
Days since CD has been in the majors: 37

Newberg Report Night

I got this from the blog “Texas Rangers Trades” (http://texasrangerstrades.blogspot.com/). Apparently the blog writer got to go to some kind of press conference or something about the Rangers. It was called “Newberg Report Night,” referring to Jamey Newberg. I didn’t know they had a “Newberg Report Night.” Anyway, there was some great info:

Will Carroll and Kevin Goldstein (both from Baseball Prospectus) were the first guests and were already up there hanging out when we arrived, even though they weren’t supposed to start until 4:00. They started taking questions at about 3:00 and went for 90 minutes. Will was great as always. This was the first time I had met Kevin. Both of them seem to know everything that’s going on in baseball and they’re funny too.

Here are some of the questions that I asked and their answers:
Q: What was the strategy of the Mariners and Reds at the trading deadline, when they both traded prospects for veterans, and then traded veterans for prospects?
A: Mariners: They have a long-term strategy, and they think that the Mariners are way ahead of where they thought they would be, although Will and Kevin are still trying to figure out the Jack Wilson trade.
Reds: They don’t understand what the Reds did with getting Scott Rolen. They said that they are confused by it and that the Reds got him because they could for a reasonably cheap price, even though Kevin wonders what it does for the team.

Q: What was the most surprising trade to you?
A: The Jake Peavy trade because nobody saw it coming and there were no rumors whatsoever. They also said that it might be the best trade and that it came so quickly, they didn’t even talk to the medical people because apparently this deal got done in minutes.

Q: What teams do you think are best at starting pitching and relief pitching?
A: Starting Pitching: Red Sox and Giants
Relief Pitching: Brewers

Will and Kevin also said that if the Rangers traded Neftali Feliz, Tommy Hunter, Wilfredo Boscan, and Thomas Diamond, it would be about the equivalent of what the White Sox gave up for Peavy, and if the Rangers traded Wilfredo Boscan and Tommy Hunter, it would be about the equivalent of what the Tigers gave up for Jarrod Washburn. Kevin also said that he could see Justin Smoak and Kasey Kiker coming up to the majors around this time next year.

After the Will and Kevin Q&A, Jamey auctioned off some prizes, with proceeds going to the Hello Win Column Fund. They raised thousands of dollars, which was great. There were two items that were very exciting for me personally. First, I won an inning in the TV booth with Josh Lewin and Tom Grieve! That was awesome. Second, I had donated one of the items for auction (a baseball with autographs from a lot of different Rangers players) and it went for $200.

Then, at 5:00, Jon Daniels came in and did 90 minutes of Q&A. When Jon kicked off the Q&A he said ‘I typically open up with Grant but his questions are usually a little challenging so I’m going to warm up with a few others first.’

I was able to ask the following three questions:
Q: Can you please name 3-5 minor leaguers who are most likely to be called up and have an impact on this year’s pennant race, including at least one who’s not currently on the 40-man roster?
A: ‘A handful of guys have the chance to play some role for us either as part of a September call-up or earlier. I think guys like Julio Borbon, Doug Mathis, and Guillermo Moscoso have done nice jobs while they’ve been up here. I think (Neftali) Feliz is certainly an option. Esteban German has had a very good year for us. I think he has the chance to help us in some regard. He’d be a nice guy for any contending club to have on their bench down the stretch.’ (Note that Mathis and Feliz were activated for that evening’s game.)

Q: The Rangers have managed to remove a number of players from their 40-man roster over the last couple of years, get them through waivers, reassign them to the minors, and then repurchase their contracts later to help the major league team, like Nelson Cruz and Doug Mathis. Is there a key to the timing of these moves that increases your chances of keeping the player?
A: ‘Absolutely. Nelson Cruz cleared waivers right at the beginning of the season. That’s the toughest time to claim a guy on waivers just because you have your roster set, your big league club’s set, and you’re breaking camp. Unless it’s a slam dunk upgrade, everyone just says ‘hey, let’s go with our own’ rather than taking someone else’s discard. So I think that’s probably the easiest time to slide a guy through waivers. Mathis was a non-tender re-sign. In that situation, it’s basically explaining to the player the options and, if they agree to resign with you at that point, you can give them some things that they might not get as free agents. That’s more of a leverage situation than anything.’

Q: Can you name three Rangers prospects that are not on most people’s radars who have made their way onto your radar?
A: ‘I’ll put (Jurickson) Profar on there. I’ll put Leury Garcia on there, shortstop at Hickory. And I’ll put Tim Murphy on there.’

Other interesting comments from Jon in answer to questions:
路 After receiving a huge round of applause when someone thanked him for not trading some of the guys that were rumored to be traded, Jon said ‘I’ll do nothing more often. That was awesome.’
路 Jon was asked why he didn’t wait a month or so to promote Elvis so that he could keep control of him for an extra year. He said that they looked at it and talked about it but it wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. To tell Elvis that he’s the shortstop but that they were going to wait a few weeks because they wanted to exploit his arbitration eligibility didn’t feel right. There are certain times you make business decisions and separate your emotions from those decisions, but they were telling this 20-year old kid that they believed in him and he would be a big part of the club. Plus they were telling the players on the big league club ‘Hey, trust us on this’. He felt it would have been talking out of both sides of their mouth. They would rather deal with the financial consequences than create a potentially divisive situation.
路 When asked about the media not giving much coverage to the Rangers, he said that he doesn’t totally buy into it just being because Dallas is a football town. A lot of it is because the Rangers haven’t won to create the fan base and interest. He feels that the media will cover whoever the fans tell them to cover.
路 They’re still watching Ben Sheets to see if he’s an option for next year.
路 When asked if the starting center fielder for next year is in the organization, he said that candidates internally are Hamilton, Byrd, and Borbon. He feels that one of them will very likely be starting for the Rangers in center field next year.
路 When asked why Borbon was brought up earlier this year if he wasn’t going to play, Jon said that he doesn’t completely buy into the philosophy that you shouldn’t call a top prospect up if he isn’t going to play every day. He feels that Borbon got a lot out of the experience.
路 He typically goes out to see the A clubs once per year. He sees Frisco and Oklahoma City more often.
路 90% of trade rumors reported are inaccurate.
路 When asked who would be called up if Salty or Teagarden were hurt, Jon said that Max Ramirez would be recovered from his injury soon. Manny Pina would also be considered, especially since he’s Rule 5 eligible this year. Richardson and Frostad could also do the job in the short term.
路 Main internal candidates for the starting rotation next season are Kevin Millwood (he expects him to vest his option), Scott Feldman, Vicente Padilla (the club has an option on him), Matt Harrison, Brandon McCarthy, Derek Holland, and Tommy Hunter. Others in the mix are Neftali Feliz, Dustin Nippert, Guillermo Moscoso, and Doug Mathis. The position will be high on the list of priorities during the off season.
路 When asked if it bothers him when a player like Halladay doesn’t want to come to Texas, he said that it does a little bit but that it’s sort of like his answer about media coverage. The team needs to win first and then people will be more i
nterested in coming here.
路 The cost to put a dome on the ballpark is prohibitive plus the ballpark wasn’t engineered to facilitate something like that. There’s a company that said they can put a screen over the park to lower the temperature 10 degrees. But odds are that there’s really not a realistic option to help with the heat.
路 Benoit is throwing. There’s a chance he could be back in September but it’s unlikely.
路 People need to keep in mind that Josh Hamilton is still recovering from surgery.
路 They’re not trying to preach a philosophy of more pitches per plate appearance. He doesn’t think that it directly correlates to success. Getting a good pitch to hit is directly correlated to success.
路 They’ve discussed moving McCarthy to the bullpen to ease the strain on his shoulder. They’re focusing on a starter’s routine during his rehab, which allows them to go either way with it. He’s pitched in the bullpen successfully in the big leagues. It will depend on what their needs are when he’s ready to come back.
路 They’re not sure why Blake Beavan’s velocity is down but he’s 20 years old and time is on their side. They’re going to let him keep pitching and see if it improves.
路 He would be in favor of moving the deadline for signing draft picks up to June 30th. It would be a challenge to sign them quicker but it would let them have the rest of the summer to focus on other things and also let the players start playing and getting on with their development sooner.
路 Chris Davis is still very much in their plans. He will be a strong consideration for a September call-up, if not before then.
路 Eric Hurley’s on pace to be 100% for spring training.
路 Jurickson Profar will likely be developed as a position player not a pitcher. He thinks he’ll be one of the top shortstop position player prospects in the game.
路 He expects that Tanner Scheppers would start out higher than Low-A to start his minor league career.
路 Right now, Chris Davis is better defensively than Justin Smoak.

Yay for Chris Davis! At least they haven’t forgotten about him!

Last night’s game summary later. They lost right at the end… boo. BUT… Neftali Feliz awed everybody with a pretty spectacular MLB debut!

My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband, Chris Davis
Days since CD has been in the majors: 30

The trade deadline has come and gone…

…and no Roy Halliday. No anybody.

There is no news of the Rangers being involved in any trades. Apparently, Toronto wanted 4 prospects/players for Halladay, including Derek Holland and Justin Smoak. Julio Borbon and Tommy Hunter’s names were also supposedly mentioned, but I don’t know if they wanted all 4 of those guys together or if those were just a few of many names that were thrown around. But apparently, the Rangers said “No way, absolutely not” to giving up Derek Holland. I don’t see how the Rangers could consider handing over both Holland AND Hunter, since both are in our starting rotation, and we would only be getting 1 starter in return. Who would be our 5th starter if we gave up both of our stellar rookies? {ugh} I shudder to think of the ramifications of a deal like that. So, I’m REALLY GLAD they didn’t made a trade.

I’ve been watching/listening to MLB.com’s “Trade Deadline Live” coverage for the last few hours, and I just heard Ken Rosenthal say that the Blue Jays’ shot at getting the best deal for Halladay would have been before this deadline. But I guess they must not think so. Anyway, who knows if we’ll be talking about Roy Halladay again in August or in the off-season trade talks? Maybe this will be one of those things where, a few years down the line, we say “hey, remember when the Rangers were talking about giving up [insert prospect’s name here] for Roy Halladay?” “I’m so glad we didn’t do that” or “Man, I wish we could have done that!” Only time will tell.

WOW!!

I had the privilege of going to the game last night, and I was absolutely blown away! I knew that after the previous game, the Rangers would really work hard for the win last night. But I don’t think anyone could have predicted what happened!

Derek Holland
*5 (yes, that’s FIVE) home runs by the Rangers (2 by Michael Young)
*8 2/3 total innings pitched by Derek Holland
*4 2/3 perfect innings by Dutch before he allowed the first hit
*Only 2 hits and 1 walk allowed by Holland all night
*10 strikeouts by Holland
Derek Holland
So, obviously, Derek Holland was the champion last night. And I take back everything I said about him needing to go back to AAA to mature. That was the logical assumption before last night, but he showed everyone in his outing last night that the diamond may not be as rough as we originally thought. I’ll bite the bullet and admit it: I was too hard on the kid. I was too quick to judge. Not that this one outing completely erases all of his previous problems, but he showed last night for the first time that he’s truly ready for the majors. Obviously we can’t expect him to perform like that every single time he starts now, but it was amazing to see what kind of untapped potential he has!
Derek Holland
I really hope this gives everyone involved in the Roy Halladay trade talks some serious pause. Toronto had some scouts at last night’s game to check out Holland, and I’m sure they’re really salivating now. But I hope the Rangers aren’t too quick to hand over Derek Holland in a deal for Roy Halladay. The trade deadline is at 3:00 today, so I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Oh man, it makes me sick worrying over which of our prospects they might be dealing away for Halladay! Focus, Katie!
 
My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband
Days since CD has been in the majors: 26
We miss you Chris!
 

Trade rumors

Okay, Cliff Lee was officially traded to the Phillies yesterday. So that’s not an option anymore. But apparently, Roy Halliday is still an option for the Rangers. {rolls eyes dramatically} Seriously? Come on, people! Let him go! I’m telling you, if we trade Neftali Feliz or Kasey Kiker to get Roy Halliday, I’m gonna be royally pissed.

Tell you what; if we can get rid of Padilla, I’d gladly take Roy Halliday!