Virtual reality fail: An off-season baseball time-waste.
Fine. I’ve put this off long enough.
I’ve thought about what Texas needs as it reshapes its roster this winter, in some cases out of necessity. I’ve thought about what the Rangers have that might interest particular other clubs. I’ve thought about payroll, and I’ve thought about not only which free agents might attract Texas by but also whether this club might be a good fit as those players decide where to make their next baseball home.
And this is still basically a worthless exercise.
Because, for starters, I don’t get to talk to other clubs or to know what those conversations had by others consisted of. I don’t have access to a crew of scouts and advisors who’ve had conversations with their other-organization contemporaries.
I sit, like you, on the sidelines “watching” this game get played, though most of the important action remains completely out of view.
Especially with this organization. (Slow clap.)
And, maybe as on-point as anything else: What do I know?
I’ve tried to think about as many of the possible whiteboard angles as I could, each of which sprouts a dozen possibilities and at least that many we haven’t thought of. I’ve tried to come up with a couple models that at least arguably look like possible Rangers courses of action. I’ve scratched out far more ideas than I haven’t.
But there’s enough left for me to dump the scraps on you, with the strong suggestion that there’s a super-huge likelihood the club would never be able to execute all of these moves — there are 29 other clubs who like the same likable players and have money to spend, too — and that even if the scope was realistic, the specific moves themselves probably aren’t, and so you would be very well served to take it all with a saltier chunk of salt than any TROT COFFEY report.
1. Texas offers righthanders Alexi Ogando and Luke Jackson, shortstop Luis Sardinas, and third baseman Joey Gallo to Tampa Bay for lefthander David Price.
The Rays say no.
The Rangers move on from David Price.
The rest of this is not in chronological order.
2. Texas signs the following free agents: catcher Brian McCann, outfielder Carlos Beltran, and second baseman-outfielder Skip Schumaker.
The Rangers forfeit picks 22 and 72 in the June 2014 amateur draft for the McCann and Beltran signings, but recoup a pick at 38th overall when Nelson Cruz signs somewhere else. (The picks will actually end up being slightly higher than those slots as other teams forfeit picks and sign their own free agents, but you get the idea.)
3. Texas signs righthanders Colby Lewis and Juan Carlos Oviedo (nee Leo Nunez) to non-roster deals.
4. Texas makes one of two trades:
(a) Second baseman Ian Kinsler, outfielder Engel Beltre, and catcher Kellin Deglan to Kansas City for DH Billy Butler, second baseman Johnny Giavotella, and either lefthander Donnie Joseph or lefthander Sam Selman.
(b) Second baseman Ian Kinsler, righthander Alexi Ogando, and shortstop Odubel Herrera to Toronto for outfielder Jose Bautista.
If Texas makes the Jays trade, the club then goes out and signs free agent righthander Tim Hudson.
5. Texas trades righthander Jerad Eickhoff and outfielder Jordan Akins to San Diego for first baseman Kyle Blanks.
6. Texas trades either lefthander Michael Kirkman or the combination of infielder Ryan Rua and righthander Jose Valdespina to Colorado for utility infielder Jonathan Herrera.
If I knew how to Photoshop, I’d take this image and replace Yoda with Pudge Rodriguez, Obi-Wan with Bengie Molina, and Anakin with Brian McCann, as the triumvirate who gets to help put finishing touches on Jorge Alfaro (Luke) the next couple years.
Instead, I’ll just invite you to watch this, which is some of what Alfaro did yesterday while he was playing baseball and I was trying to settle on the final look of this silly spitball report, compiled with only one name completely off-limits as far as I’m concerned (well, two, if you count Yu Darvish), and if you’re not sure who my other Rangers untouchable would be, just re-read this sentence and click that link.
Unlike everything else in this report, that stuff’s real.