Blog Entry

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake

Posted on: April 2, 2011 12:21 pm

By Evan Brunell

GonzalezOn Friday, Adrian Gonzalez made his debut as a Red Sox in Rangers Ballpark, where he made his major-league debut before being traded to San Diego and breaking out.

As GM Jon Daniels reflected on the trade, he admitted it was a mistake compounded by the fact the Rangers were trying to stay competitive. Texas was coming off an 89-73 campaign in 2004 and then disappointed with a 79-83 record the following year. That motivated Daniels to deal Gonzalez, outfielder Terrmel Sledge and pitcher Chris Young to San Diego for starting pitcher Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka.

Gonzalez developed into one of the game's best hitters while Young had a nice run in the middle of the Padres rotation. Meanwhile, Adam Eaton fell flat on his face with a 5.13 ERA in 13 starts, then left as a free agent. Otsuka had a nice run in Texas, but only lasted two years before injuries derailed his career.

“I know that at the time, when Mark Teixeira was here, it led to a lot of clubs making an assumption that we would trade him, that we wouldn’t be able to keep both of them," Daniels told WEEI. "We did get some inquiries on him [prior to the San Diego trade]. We didn’t obviously project him to be the superstar that he’s become. Clearly, had we known that, we would have found a way to make it work. But we thought he was going to be a good player. At a young age, he was always a guy we thought would hit. The question was how much power. He’s matured into one of the better power hitters in the game, clearly."

It wasn't the trade of Gonzalez that rankles Daniels to this day, however. It's how the team got away from its model and made an ill-fated gambit to contend immediately.

"Our error in that was not so much our evaluation of Adrian," said Daniels. "Our biggest miss in that situation was really our evaluation of our club, where we were competitively and in the division. We thought that there was a window there in ’05-’06 to really push. We won 89 games [in 2004], were a .500 club in ’05, hadn’t made too many changes. Our [front office] group came in in ’05. We probably tried to step on the gas before we were ready. Not probably – we did.”

That influenced Texas' moves this offseason, foregoing short-term signings or trades that would have given up long-term assets by signing third baseman Adrian Beltre to a five-year deal.

“We think we had a good nucleus and wanted to add to it, make another run at it,” Daniels added. “We had some opportunities to bring in some great players on short-term moves that didn’t really fit for us on what we were trying to do. We always try to find that balance between now and the next few years. We’ll see how it plays out, but we didn’t want to shoot ourselves in the foot and go 100 percent, all in. We wanted to find that balance. That’s our model.”

That model is in part, Daniels admits, to mirror what the Red Sox have done over the last decade.

“The hope is that this is a window of opportunity we can capitalize upon, but there are a lot of clubs that have looked to do just that and haven’t been able to accomplish it," Daniels noted. "To me, what Boston has done over the last decade is something kind of special, kind of unique. They’re in there year-in, year-out. That’s what we’re striving to be -- not be grouped with also-successful clubs that don’t get back there."

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Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: April 2, 2011 6:58 pm

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake

Well he at least takes credit for his mistakes we all make them. The Rangers had they kept Adrian Gonzalez would probably won the world series last year against the Giants. How many big hitting first basemen have they speculated on the past 6 years. To many to count but how many other clubs have traded for prospects and bombed to many to count. Or traded good prospects away for proven veterans and bombed. The life of a General manager. Boston and the Rays seem to have a golden touch in that respect. One of recent note in Oakland trading Fuentes for Carlos Gonzalez to the Rockies. Life goes on.

Since: Apr 2, 2011
Posted on: April 2, 2011 5:54 pm

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake

Great article Evan!!! Before reading it I thought this was a GREAT trade for Texas. Thank you for opening my eyes. I also think the Dodgers getting Delino Deshields for Pedro was a steal for LA. How about another article?

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: April 2, 2011 4:32 pm

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake

I agree, Kevin. Daniels is a very good GM and has made far more good moves than bad.

Since: Feb 21, 2007
Posted on: April 2, 2011 4:08 pm

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake

Well, to be honest our GM has been awesome, turned things around and helped build a World Series team that we haven't had here ever.  Sure everyone makes mistakes on some deals.  Detroit trading away John Smoltz, even your Red Sox trading away Jeff Bagwell, not to mention how our GM fleeced you on the Eric Gagne deal, getting us David Murphy and one of the top prospects in baseball right now in Engel Beltre.  Sure Marlon Byrd was a nice player, but not worth what's he's getting and we already have 4 other OF's at the time that were just as good or better than him.  Everyone thought it was crazy for us to let Gary Matthews, Jr. leave, well how did that work out for the Angels.  Trading Teixeira is what got us the pieces that got us to the World.  We got 2 All-Stars out of the deal in Andrus and Feliz.  But every team and every GM has made their mistakes.  That's the greatness of sports and the drama of the deals and then seeing how they end up.

Since: Mar 8, 2011
Posted on: April 2, 2011 3:47 pm

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake

not a fan of texas really i respect them as a team but adrian gonzalez is just one on a long list of mistakes the texas has made. i mean really the list goe's on and on of top players they have sent out of there just to name a few more key bad  moves A rod,MARK TEIXEIRA i wouldn't if i was that GM just be crying about gonzalez, even though he should, even bryd for that matter wasn't or isn't a bad player. then one of the best players over the years in young they act like they are going or wanted to deal him. if i was a fan i would have to ask myself at some point if they really want to win the ownership that is or if it's just the GM and his bad idea's. i don't know you as texas fans you decide

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: April 2, 2011 3:44 pm

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake

Don't worry Daniels, while Tom Grieve was GM he made bad move after bad move and now he is the voice of the Rangers.  What a joke!

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: April 2, 2011 2:40 pm

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake

soooo....the 1997 Marlins was loaded with stars of the era? NOT......

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: April 2, 2011 2:32 pm

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake

This is the beauty of the unpredictable world of sports, you never know how a guy is gonna develop, he could be a dud or a star...They throw millions into scouting players , but really there probably wrong more than they are right. Chris Young was a bum for Texas , that was the years there offense was among the best, and there starting pitching was among the worst. Texas seems to churn out power hitting power 1st basemen quite often though, on todays club there would be no room / money for him.Only thing they could have done is gotten more value for him at the time.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: April 2, 2011 2:18 pm

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake


Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: April 2, 2011 1:58 pm

Daniels admits Gonzalez trade was mistake

this is the nature a deal in baseball whenever you deal you take a gamble..i would say that when TEXAS did trade texiera they mad eout like bandits so take the good with the bad

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