Stretch of the imagination.
OK, here we go.
First, keep in mind that this is just a stupid little spitballing exercise, undertaken without knowing essential things like which teams Texas knows have interest in which of its players, how the club’s pro scouts evaluate certain free agents, and, maybe most importantly, whether the Rangers have reason to believe that Elvis Andrus is willing to stay here past 2014.
I probably went through four or five different models, and I’m not sure I feel all that much better about this one than any of the others, a few of which had Kelly Shoppach on them, but none of which had Nick Swisher or A.J. Pierzynski or Frosty Rivera or Rich Harden or Flip Boone.
Please understand that I don’t believe there’s really any chance that the Rangers turn this much of the roster over in one winter, but then again, it’s been years since Texas has had this many key components hitting free agency at once.
Also understand that I needed to focus on this task this morning to distract myself from today’s conflicting reports out of Japan that suggest on the one hand that 18-year-old righthander Shohei Otani will make himself ineligible for the Japanese draft and instead sign with a Major League organization (Nikkan Sports), and on the other that the teenager has decided to stay in Japan (Sports Hochi).
The 6’4” Otani, who has been clocked at 99 mph, reportedly met with the Rangers (Director of Professional Scouting Josh Boyd, Senior Advisor of Pacific Rim Operations Jim Colborn, and Spokane/Hickory outfielder Hirotoshi Onaka) for more than three-and-a-half hours on October 2 and has also had visits from the Red Sox and Dodgers.
I believe the $2.9 million cap for big league organizations to spend internationally would come into play (since the only exempt NPB players would be those who are at least 23 and have five years of service), and that the 2012 cap would apply unless Otani were to wait until after July 1, 2013 to sign, and that Texas has a healthy amount of its 2012 cap left after spending sparingly this summer.
And a final point, this one more on point as far as this morning’s exercise goes.
The Tigers missed the 2009 playoffs by one game, winning 12 more games than they had in 2008. But in spite of what had been a year of progress, on December 8 of that off-season Detroit traded its second-best player and second-best pitcher in a three-team deal, sending 28-year-old outfielder Curtis Granderson to the Yankees and 26-year-old righthander Edwin Jackson to the Diamondbacks.
In return, Detroit received minor league outfielder Austin Jackson, second-year righthander Max Scherzer, and a couple left-handed relievers with two seasons each in the big leagues, Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth.
Last night, and in the two series that the Tigers have closed out en route to this year’s World Series, Scherzer and Jackson and Coke were huge.
Granderson, who earned almost twice as much in 2012 as Scherzer and Jackson and Coke combined, and Edwin Jackson, pitching for his fourth new team since that Tigers trade three years ago, had awful post-seasons.
You can’t be afraid to make big trades. Detroit isn’t.
And neither is Texas.
The Rangers sign the following free agents: righthander Zack Greinke, outfielder Torii Hunter, infielder Jeff Keppinger, and right-handed relievers Koji Uehara and Joel Peralta.
They also sign righthander Freddy Garcia to a non-roster deal with a March 25 out.
Texas trades lefthander Derek Holland, minor league infielder Leury Garcia, and minor league righthander Abel De Los Santos to Toronto for minor league catcher Travis d’Arnaud and minor league outfielder Jake Marisnick.
Texas trades outfielder Nelson Cruz, lefthander Michael Kirkman, and minor league infielder Rougned Odor to Arizona for outfielder Gerardo Parra, right-handed reliever Bryan Shaw, and minor league left-handed reliever Eury De La Rosa.
Texas trades outfielder David Murphy to Cincinnati for catcher Ryan Hanigan and right-handed reliever J.J. Hoover.
Texas trades outfielder Julio Borbon to Milwaukee for lefthander Manny Parra. (Note: Both are out of options.)
OPENING DAY 25-MAN ROSTER
Rotation: Yu Darvish, Zack Greinke, Matt Harrison, Alexi Ogando, Freddy Garcia or Manny Parra
(Martin Perez and Justin Grimm optioned.)
(Colby Lewis returns mid-season.)
Bullpen: Joe Nathan, Koji Uehara, Joel Peralta, Tanner Scheppers, J.J. Hoover, Robbie Ross, Neal Cotts
(Bryan Shaw optioned.)
(Neftali Feliz returns mid-season.)
Catchers: Ryan Hanigan, Travis d’Arnaud
Infielders: Mitch Moreland, Jurickson Profar, Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Jeff Keppinger, Michael Young
(Mike Olt optioned.)
Outfielders: Torii Hunter, Ian Kinsler, Leonys Martin, Craig Gentry, Gerardo Parra
Okey doke. Rip it up.
And by that I don’t mean pore over all of it and pick it apart and haul me over the coals on the trades where I’m giving up way, way, way too much, or not nearly enough, or trading a player that would just be plain stupid to trade, especially for that.
No, I mean rip it up and throw it in the trash. Because none of it’s going to happen.