Tag:Adrian Beltre
Posted on: February 10, 2011 4:35 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2011 6:17 pm
 

Rangers don't think they can move Young

Michael Young It's looking more and more likely Michael Young and the Rangers are going to be stuck with each other, like two roommates who don't get along but are trapped in a bad lease.

The latest is a tweet from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, who has been told by a Rangers source the team doesn't expect to be able to move Young, that "teams have inquired but feel set heading to spring camp."

No real surprise. The ground here has been well-covered: Young was displaced into a DH/utility role by the acquisition of Adrian Beltre, isn't happy about that and asked for a trade. But anyone who had a need for a starting infielder and that kind of money to spend has already done whatever they were going to do for this season. Here is a rundown from yesterday on why Young doesn't fit with various teams.

It's just not the time of year when you can easily move a 34-year-old with three years and $48 million left on his contract.

UPDATE: Rangers GM Jon Daniels spoke with the Dallas Morning News this afternoon and had this to say:

"None of us is happy that it came to this," Daniels said. "Nobody looks good right now. There are two options here. If a trade presents itself that looks like it will help the club, we will pursue it. If not, we'll go to spring training."

Also, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com was told by a source that the Dodgers were interested in Young, but wanted the Rangers to pay 75 percent of the $48 million in salary. The Rangers know they are going to have to eat money to get this done, but they don't want to pay someone that much to play somewhere else.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Category: MLB
Posted on: January 28, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:28 pm
 

Berkman bashes Rangers as 'average' team

BerkmanLance Berkman took to the airwaves Thursday, speaking on 1560 AM in Houston to explain why he chose the Cardinals over the Rangers when inking a contract. The 35-year-old opted for a one-year, $8 million pact with St. Louis to play right field as opposed to DHing and playing some outfield and first base for the Rangers.

So, why the Cardinals over the defending American League champions?

"I felt like if they didn't re-sign Cliff Lee that they were going to be an average team and I feel that's probably what's going to end up happening," Berkman said Thursday via ESPN.com. Berkman faced the Rangers in the ALCS as a member of the Yankees after coming over from the Houston Astros, where he had the best years of his career. "It's all about your pitching. I feel like last year was one of those special years where you kind of catch lightning in a bottle and they got hot and they had some guys that I felt like were pitching better than their talent level and consequently they had a great year."

Is Berkman just jealous that the Yankees fell to the Rangers?

 

Texas finished 2010 fifth overall in runs scored with 567 and followed that up with 636 runs allowed (not including unearned runs), good for 10th in all of baseball. That's pretty impressive for a squad known more for hitting than pitching. While Cliff Lee fronted the rotation, the other contributors were C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis, also getting starts from Tommy Hunter, Scott Feldman and Derek Holland among others.

Wilson had a successful conversion to the rotation after spending four years as a full-time reliever. He finished with a 3.35 ERA in 204 innings pitched and while he did pitch over his head according to his 4.20 xFIP, he also showed he's for real and can be a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter.

Wilson was backed up by Colby Lewis, a failed MLB starter who went to Japan, discovered how to pitch and returned to his old stomping grounds of Texas to post a 3.72 ERA in 201 innings -- and he looks for real.

It's behind the two pitchers where Texas may scrap. Scott Feldman did go 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA for Texas in 2009, but followed that up with a 5.48 ERA stinker in 22 starts and seven relief appearances. The jury is out on just what Feldman can provide, while Hunter threw together a 3.73 ERA in 22 starts. It's difficult to imagine Hunter as anything more than a No. 4 starter with a 4.50 ERA. But the saving grace could come from Derek Holland, just 24 and who contributed a 4.08 ERA in 10 starts and four relief appearances.

It's definitely a rotation with a lot of questions, but the Rangers have to feel confident going into the season that their offense, supplemented by new third baseman Adrian Beltre and catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli can carry the load until the Rangers see how the rotation shakes out.

That doesn't mean to say Berkman is a Rangers hater. He cited that the opportunity to stay in his home state of Texas, playing in a park conducive to offense and knowing Nolan Ryan and bench coach Jake Moore as what drew him to Texas as an option -- until he looked closer.

Meanwhile, Wilson fired back on ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas Friday.

"I think it's funny," Wilson said. "He was contemplating retirement, so I'm not going to take anything too seriously. I'm not going to get offended by anything he says. If that's a representative idea of what people around the league think, that's better for us because they're going to do the same thing and they're going to not take us seriously. If we end up stomping through the playoffs again, everyone will be like, 'Wow, what a bummer.' "

Wilson also addressed comments Berkman made about Adrian Beltre, whom Texas signed to a five-year, $80 million deal that has an option for another $16 million that should be easily exercised.

 

"They were itching to spend some money," Berkman said of acquiring Beltre. "I probably could have gotten the best deal out of them, especially in light of what they gave Adrian Beltre, which I think is pretty much of a reach for him."

Wilson begs to differ -- as he should, as Beltre should steal away some hits and turn them into outs.

 

 "Adrian Beltre is the best defensive third baseman in baseball, and he's a pretty good hitter as well," Wilson said. "I don't know if anyone knows he hit .340 last year, which is definitely better than .220. I'm pretty stoked about having him on my team."

For the record, Beltre hit .321 in what was one of the best seasons of his career, and Berkman hit .248. While Beltre was likely playing over his head, his defense is invaluable and should do well in the home park of the Rangers. Meanwhile, Berkman is struggling to avoid retirement.

"We have a lot of pride on our team," Wilson added. "We're very proud of what we've turned our team into. It's about the players and what we've done on the field. We've gotten better. Now the organization is somewhere and we have direction.

"If someone is going to slam us, that's going to be something. ... You hold little grudges like that. I hope the fans understand and when Lance comes to play at some point in Texas, I hope our fans boo."

The booing will have to wait, as the Cardinals are not slated to visit Texas in 2011.

 

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 22, 2011 3:00 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 3:09 pm
 

Angels trade for Vernon Wells baffling

Wells"If you want to continue to perform at the highest level, you have to keep building the business," Angels owner Arte Moreno told the Los Angeles Times back in October. "And that's what I intend to do."

Moreno, who was very upset about the team's play en route to an 80-82 record, went on to pledge that he would spend what was necessary to return the team to the playoffs.

Well, $70 million is certainly a nice chunk of change, but the Angels continued one of the most baffling offseasons ever by handing all that money to Vernon Wells instead of Carl Crawford or Adrian Beltre. Yes, Wells bounced back from years of struggles to bash 31 home runs en route to a .273/.331/.515 line in 646 plate appearances, but Wells was the proud owner of one of the worst contracts in the game that rendered him all but untradeable and has four years left on it as he enters the decline phase of his career.

Except to the Angels, apparently. In a confounding deal pulled off Friday, the Angels acquired Wells in exchange for catcher Mike Napoli and left-fielder Juan Rivera. It's pretty hard to call this an upgrade for the Angels, but is par for the course in a regime that has made more bizarre decisions than any other team since GM Tony Reagins took over. And that might be on the owner.

"We know where our weaknesses are, we know where we are thin, we know where we have to go to market," Moreno said in October. "It's going to cost money, but our fans need to know what we're committed to winning."

Moreno cited an outfielder who can hit, plus boosting offense at catcher and third base as offseason priorities. Except to hear him later tell it to the Times, the club never made an offer on Carl Crawford, and that's baffling for an owner who came into the game willing to spend and did just that by grabbing Vladimir Guerrero, Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar in the 2003-04 offseason.

"There were rumors out there, but we never made an official offer, and no parameters were discussed," Moreno noted of the talks with Crawford.

"It's crazy. I paid [$183 million] for the team [in 2003], and now we're talking $142 million for one player? Seven years on a player is a huge risk financially. [Crawford's] greatest asset is speed, and he's a very skilled athlete who would have fit perfectly in left field for us. But we didn't look at him as a power hitter in our stadium."

Except that the only times Wells has outproduced Crawford in Wins Above Replacement (Fangraphs version) were in 2003 -- Crawford's first season -- and 2006, where Crawford only finished 1.1 behind Wells. Is Crawford's seven years and $142 million that much worse than Wells' four years and $81 million on the deal (the Jays kicked in $5 million)? 

Sure, that total outlay is around $70 million once you delete Napoli and Rivera's contracts, but Crawford would have only been an extra three years and $56 million more than Wells. Still a pricey tag? How about Adrian Beltre, then, who signed a five-year, $80 million deal that can increase to six years and $96 million with Texas? Yep, you read that right: the Angels chose a subpar defensive outfielder with just as checkered an offensive history for four years and $81 million over a premier defender who would have cost one less million for an extra year. And meanwhile, the Angels balked at any offer over $77 million for five years. Even if you have to add on that team option for the sixth year, Beltre is still the better buy.

Smooth, Arte.

Oh, and about upgrading offense behind the dish? The Angels traded away their answer there in order to stick with Jeff Mathis, whom is fantastic defensively but hit .195/.219/.278 in 218 PA for the Angels in 2010.

Meanwhile, Napoli had five less home runs than Wells in 136 less trips to the plate in 2010 and Rivera had an eerily similar line to Wells back in 2009 when he hit .287/.332/.478 with 25 homers in 572 PA. And between Rivera and Wells, their OPS' (.771) and OPS+ (105) are exactly the same over the last two years. And yet, the Angels chose to acquire the center fielder.

Except Wells isn't exactly a center fielder. Those three Gold Gloves from 2004-06 are nice, but not worth the metal that was sculpted. Wells has been a lousy center fielder for three years running now and would be better served in a corner. Torii Hunter may have fallen off in his fielding as well, but he's better than Wells. If Peter Bourjos remains in center (or the team signs Scott Podsednik for that role) and Wells shifts to left, that does help the outfield defense but actually would be negligible in boosting Wells' value as he would suddenly be compared to other left fielders, not center fielders. In Fangraphs' adjustments for positional value, center fielders get +2.5 wins credit, but -7.5 for left and right field -- so Wells' bat has to be that much better to make up for it.

Oh, and did we mention how Toronto waived Vernon Wells in August? All the Angels would have had to do was place a claim and he would have been theirs. Instead, they trade for him in the offseason and give up Napoli and Rivera for that right.

Sam Miller of the Orange County Register nailed the trade by saying "It's the rare trade that makes a team older, more expensive and worse."

And that's exactly what the Angels just did.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 22, 2011 2:59 pm
This entry has been removed by the administrator.

Post Deleted by Administrator

This message has been removed by the administrator.

Posted on: January 22, 2011 2:57 pm
This entry has been removed by the administrator.

Post Deleted by Administrator

This message has been removed by the administrator.

Posted on: January 19, 2011 7:53 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:26 am
 

June draft order set

With Carl Pavano signing with the Twins, there are now no Type A free agents left unsigned, which means there are no more possible compensatory reassignments of first-round picks. Compensatory picks can still be added for Type B signings, but those will fall in the "sandwich" round between the first and second rounds.

That's a long way of saying we have our first-round order for the 2011 June draft, which is projected to be one of the richest and deepest in recent years.

1. Pirates
2. Mariners
3. Diamondbacks
4. Orioles
5. Royals
6. Nationals
7. Diamondbacks (for unsigned 2010 pick Barret Loux)
8. Indians
9. Cubs
10. Padres (for unsigned 2010 pick Karsten Whitson)
11. Astros
12. Brewers
13. Mets
14. Marlins
15. Brewers (for unsigned 2010 pick Dylan Covey)
16. Dodgers
17. Angels
18. Athletics
19. Red Sox (from Tigers for Victor Martinez)
20. Rockies
21. Blue Jays
22. Cardinals
23. Nationals (from White Sox for Adam Dunn)
24. Rays (from Red Sox for Carl Crawford)
25. Padres
26. Red Sox (from Rangers for Adrian Beltre)
27. Reds
28. Braves
29. Giants
30. Twins
31. Rays (from Yankees for Rafael Soriano)
32. Rays
33. Rangers (from Phillies for Cliff Lee)

It's a good time to be the Diamondbacks (who have two of the top seven picks), the Brewers (two in the first 15) and the Rays (three first-rounders). The Rays also also have a whopping seven sandwich-round picks, meaning that as of today (with more sandwich picks to come) they'd make 10 of the first 53 picks.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb   on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: January 10, 2011 3:52 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Rangers interested in Thome

Jim Thome The Rangers are interested in free-agent designated hitter Jim Thome, Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune confirms via Twitter .

Thome, 11 homers shy of 600, has balked at re-signing with the Twins so far this offseason following his productive 2010. While no longer a full-time DH, Thome can still be very effective when used correctly, as the Twins did last season when he appeared in 108 games for Minnesota.

Thome was used mostly against right-handed pitchers last season, hitting .302/.455/.698 against right-handers in 246 plate appearance and .241/.298/.471 in 94 plate appearances against lefties. All but two of his 16 homers came against right-handers.

The Rangers are still trying to figure out how to move forward with their lineup after signing free-agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. Michael Young is certain to be moved, but will he be a first baseman or a designated hitter.

Young hit better against left-handers in 2010, .322/.374/.497 last season, while hitting .270/.314/.425 against righties. But if he's a full-time first baseman, he doesn't figure into the designated hitter spot.

However, the team has said it may use him more as a utility player, giving him starts across the infield to spell second baseman Ian Kinsler, shortstop Elvis Andrus and Beltre. Thome's presence could aid that usage of Young.

While Thome's not exactly a perfect, easy fit for the Rangers, he does add to the Texas offense. The Rangers certainly have the money Thome's looking for -- the Twins paid him $1.5 million last season and he's been said to be looking for a raise after 2010, one Minnesota's not sure it can afford.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: January 10, 2011 10:04 am
 

Rangers may not be done yet

Jon Daniels Coming off a World Series appearance, the Rangers have been anything but content this offseason. Few teams have been as active in the free agent market as Texas.

General manager Jon Daniels has reached high -- Cliff Lee -- and missed, but also reacted by signing the likes of Adrian Beltre and Yorvit Torrealba along with reliever Arthur Rhodes and took a risk on former Cy Young Award-winner Brandon Webb. The team was also in on trades for Zack Greinke and Matt Garza.

Under new ownership, the Rangers have been aggressive and shown they aren't content with what they've done. That hasn't stopped even after an offseason spending spree.

"There are still some things we're going to look into," Daniels told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram . "This may be the club we go to camp with. We're confident if it is.

"But there's a chance we'll try to improve as well."

Wilson notes the team could still be interested in other "risk-reward types" such as Jeff Francis and Bartolo Colon.

There's also the off chance the team could go after the top remaining free agent, Rafael Soriano, and move Neftali Feliz to the rotation. It may be a long-shot, but with the Rangers, it seems anything's possible.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com