None of these qualify as inexorable truth, but I 100 percent believe every one of them to be 100 percent true.
1. His slash line (.248/.282/.376) indicates less productivity than Shin-Soo Choo (.242/.340/.374) and Leonys Martin (.272/.326/.369) and fits more in line with what Mitch Moreland (.246/.297/.347) provided in 2014, but the Rangers simply cannot trade Rougned Odor. And I say that not because of what he did yesterday and not because he won’t turn 21 until the trucks leave for Surprise in February. Odor has an intangible that you can never have enough of (call it edge, call it swagger, call it fearlessness; one day it will be called leadership), and that doesn’t always accompany big talent. Texas needs Odor a whole lot. Put whatever variable you’d like on his trade value — it’s less than his value to his current organization, and maybe by a ton.
2. Every team in the big leagues has some of the world’s greatest baseball players on its roster. Sometimes it’s about arcs and timing. Take a look at the Rangers’ 2011 and 2012 rosters (even more so than 2010) and think about what some of those players did before those couple years and have done since. It will make you happy-sad.
3. Still have those 2011 and 2012 pages up? I miss that Elvis Andrus.
4. It would have been fun to see guys like Daniel Robertson and Jim Adduci and Nick Tepesch and Nick Martinez and Miles Mikolas and Roman Mendez and Alex Claudio playing at Round Rock, at this stage of their careers, in 2011 or 2012. Throw Kevin Kouzmanoff in there, too.
5. It’s interesting that Texas and San Diego will both feed prospects to the Surprise Saguaros AFL roster, meaning Nick Williams and Hunter Renfroe will be teammates for five weeks a little more than a month from now, and that Trea Turner and possibly Jurickson Profar will be sharing time at shortstop, but I’d also like to predict that some greater-than-zero percentage of Neftali Feliz, Martin, Profar, and Tanner Scheppers will be Padres by this time next year.
7. I’m looking forward to Draft Day this coming June, and not just at the top. The Rangers’ second-round pick (assuming they don’t forfeit it with a free agent signing) will be around where their first-round position has been slotted the last few years.
8. I still want the Rangers to win every time I watch them play. But I want the Rockies to win every night, too.
9. This team misses Michael Young a lot.
10. This team will not miss Alex Rios.
11. This whole Yu Darvish narrative is unwelcome, and I’d encourage you to give five minutes to this article by Yahoo! Sports columnist Jeff Passan. I sure hope Darvish wants his next contract to be with the Texas Rangers.
12. Jason Parks is now in the game (as Scott Lucas points out, he’s a Cub Scout), and that’s all kinds of awesome.
13. I’m happy to hear that Choo has been dealing with both an ankle and an elbow all year. He has to be better in 2015, and now there’s a couple legitimate reasons to believe he will be.
14. Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports) reports that Cincinnati is “expected to trade at least one starting pitcher this off-season.” Johnny Cueto is going nowhere. Mat Latos, Homer Bailey, Mike Leake, or Tony Cingrani? Interesting.
15. The Rangers have said lately that they would like to add a starting pitcher somewhere between the 2 and 4 slots, and that a trade is more likely than a free agent signing (like Max Scherzer).
16. David Price gave up nine straight hits in the third inning of his start last night, and has a 4.41 ERA since joining the Tigers. Drew Smyly, one of the pieces Detroit sent to Tampa Bay to get Price, has a 1.67 ERA since the trade. Smyly has allowed fewer runs in five Rays starts than Price allowed in that one inning. (OK, this one is inexorably true.)
17. Trading for pitching is risky. But the Rangers don’t shy from risk.
18. It’s going to be a fascinating winter.
19. Baseball is great.
20. And Adrian Beltre is Baseball.