THE NEWBERG REPORT — May 26, 2008

You can’t win ‘em all on Draft Day – nobody does – but yeah, June 4, 2002 wasn’t a real good day in Rangersland.  

(Or in Exposland, where Montreal hung out at the correct high school field but chose the wrong guy . . . or in the war rooms of nearly half the teams who had the chance to name their player before the Mets came up):

1. Pittsburgh, Bryan Bullington, rhp, Ball State
2. Tampa Bay, B.J. Upton, ss, Greenbrier Christian Academy, Chesapeake, Va.
3. Cincinnati, Chris Gruler, rhp, Liberty HS, Brentwood, Calif.
4. Baltimore, Adam Loewen, lhp, Fraser Valley Christian, Surrey, B.C.
5. Montreal, Clint Everts, rhp, Cypress Falls HS, Houston.
6. Kansas City, Zack Greinke, rhp, Apopka (Fla.) HS.
7. Milwaukee, Prince Fielder, 1b, Eau Gallie HS, Melbourne, Fla.
8. Detroit, Scott Moore, ss, Cypress (Calif.) HS.
9. Colorado, Jeff Francis, lhp, U. of British Columbia.
10. Texas, Drew Meyer, ss, South Carolina.
11. Florida, Jeremy Hermida, of, Wheeler HS, Marietta, Ga.
12. Anaheim, Joe Saunders, lhp, Virginia Tech.
13. San Diego, Khalil Greene, ss, Clemson.
14. Toronto, Russ Adams, ss, North Carolina.
15. N.Y. Mets, Scott Kazmir, lhp, Cypress Falls HS, Houston.
16. Oakland (from Boston for Johnny Damon), Nick Swisher, 1b-of, Ohio State.
17. Philadelphia, Cole Hamels, lhp, Rancho Bernardo HS, San Diego.
18. Chicago White Sox, Roger Ring, lhp, San Diego State.
19. Los Angeles, James Loney, 1b, Lawrence Elkins HS, Missouri City, Texas.
20. Minnesota, Denard Span, of, Catholic HS, Tampa, Fla.
21. Chicago Cubs, Bobby Brownlie, rhp, Rutgers.
22. Cleveland, Jeremy Guthrie, rhp, Stanford.
23. Atlanta, Jeff Francoeur, of, Parkview HS, Lilburn, Ga.
24. Oakland (from N.Y. Yankees; Jason Giambi), Joseph Blanton, rhp, Kentucky.
25. San Francisco, Matt Cain, rhp, Houston HS, Germantown, Tenn.
26. Oakland, John McCurdy, ss, Maryland.
27. Arizona, Sergio Santos, ss, Mater Dei HS, Hacienda Heights, Calif.
28. Seattle, John Mayberry, Jr., 1b, Rockhurst HS, Kansas City, Mo.
29. Houston, Derick Grigsby, rhp, Northeast Texas CC.
30. Oakland (from St. Louis; Jason Isringhausen), Ben Fritz, rhp, Fresno State.

The one thing to keep in mind as far as Kazmir is concerned is that, if the Rays decide at some point that they can no longer afford Kazmir, whom they agreed to pay $6 million in 2009, $8 million in 2010, $12 million in 2011, and a $2.5 million buyout in 2012 unless they choose to pay him $13.5 million for that season, the likelihood is that the club will not trade him to the Yankees or Red Sox, with whom Tampa Bay shares a division, or to the Mets, who from a P.R. standpoint might not opt to empty the farm system for a pitcher they once traded to key a deal for The Far Lesser Zambrano.  

It may not be for a few years, but the Rangers could be in a position some day to do what they were almost able to do with Josh Beckett – use a deep farm system to come out ahead in an effort to get the best young pitcher (like Beckett, a Texan) available on the trade market.  I want that guy here.  (Back in November, six months before the Rays locked Kamzir up with the long-term extension, I wrote this: “Eric Hurley, Taylor Teagarden, and Tampa Bay’s choice of Joaquin Arias or Omar Poveda.  The Rays won’t do it.  Would you?”)

There’s no question that if Texas can maintain the horizontal and vertical depth in prospects that it has right now, it will be able to compete with anyone when it comes to loading up for a blockbuster trade.  For a guy like Kazmir.

But for now: Wow.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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