Tag:Adrian Gonzalez
Posted on: March 4, 2011 7:21 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 9:00 pm

3 up, 3 down: Jon Daniels' best, worst moves

DanielsBy Evan Brunell

The Rangers have handed GM Jon Daniels a four-year extension, rewarding the 33-year-old for steering the club to its first-ever AL pennant in 2010. For all of Daniels' talents, however, he's made quite a few missteps along the way. Here's a look back at Daniels' three best and worst moves as Rangers GM...

3 UP

1. The Teix Heist

The reason the Rangers made the World Series is thanks to the trade that sent Mark Teixeira to the Atlanta Braves. Consummated at the trade deadline of 2007, this deal represented the first time Daniels was trading away a major piece of a team and he needed to hit a home run.

He did. By dealing Teix and left-handed reliever Ron Mahay, Daniels hauled in catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, shortstop Elvis Andrus, pitchers Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Beau Jones. The fact Salty stalled in Texas is concerning, but many viewed the backstop at the time as one of the elite young catchers in the game. Andrus would go on to blossom as Texas' starting shortstop while Feliz won the AL Rookie of the Year Award with 40 saves last season and is currently shifting to the rotation. Harrison is a young lefty who is battling for a rotation spot himself, while Jones is the one non-entity.

This deal will continue to pay dividends over time, as Andrus and Feliz will be in town for years to come while Harrison is valuable depth. Saltalamacchia's career is not yet over as he is slated to start in Boston, and the jury is out on Daniels' return for Salty in three minor leaguers.

2. Game Over

Daniels made another significant trade the day of the 2007 trade deadline when he dealt "Game Over" Eric Gagne and cash to the Red Sox for Kason Gabbard, David Murphy and Engel Beltre.

Gagne was impressive in his first season as an ex-Dodger and after missing the bulk of the 2006 season. He wasn't the lockdown closer of old, but looked as if he could be a quality part of the bullpen. Except as Red Sox fans know, he completely imploded and while he walked away with a World Series trade, he will forever be known as Gag-me in Boston. (For some reason, there are over 11,000 views of a video I took recording Gagne's Red Sox debut.) His saving grace in Boston was as a Type-B free agent, and the Red Sox would later trade the player they drafted with the compensatory pick to Cleveland as part of the Victor Martinez deal.

Meanwhile, David Murphy is one of the more valuable fourth outfielders in the game and would be a starter for many other teams. Beltre has his makeup questions but is developing nicely as Texas' center fielder of the future. Gabbard flamed out, but at the time was a possible back-of-the-rotation starter.

3. Draft Bonanza

A major reason why Daniels has stayed viable as GM of the Rangers is his drafting history. Of course, major credit goes to the people working under him that are in charge of the draft, but Daniels deserves credit for putting these people in those roles as well as having a hand in the drafting and development of these players.

His first draft pick, Kasey Kiker, has yet to develop significantly but is just 22 and does hold some promise. However, his following two have had major league time already: power-hitting Chris Davis who has unfortunately failed time and time again to lock down a starting spot in Texas and Danny Herrera, who is a member of the Reds bullpen currently and was used to get Josh Hamilton. Michael Main was used to get Bengie Molina, while Blake Beavan and Justin Smoak were packaged for Cliff Lee

Tommy Hunter was a viable member of the rotation last season and could have a nice career as a back-of-the-rotation pitcher, while Julio Borbon is prepared to start in center field. Tanner Scheppers ranked No. 77 on CBSSports.com's Top 100 Prospects and  may have ranked higher if he was clearly going to be a starter. The club also came away with an impressive haul in the 2010 draft.

Honorable Mention: One would expect the deal bringing in Josh Hamilton to be one of Daniels' better deals, but it's hard to justify that as one of his best deals simply by virtue of giving up Edinson Volquez. There's no denying Hamilton's talent -- after all, he won the AL MVP award -- but Volquez has turned out pretty well for himself. There's a similar case to be made for the trade that imported Carlos Lee and Nelson Cruz from Milwaukee in exchange for Laynce Nix, Kevin Mench, Francisco Cordero and Juan Cordero, so the honorable mention goes to signing Colby Lewis to a two-year deal prior to the 2010 season. Lewis was an utter failure stateside before heading to Japan and discovering his talent. Daniels didn't hesitate to bring in Lewis, and all he did was become the Rangers' best right-handed starter in the team's run to the AL pennant.


1. The Young and Heartless

In March of 2007, Daniels signed shortstop Michael Young to a five-year, $80 million extension, a contract that was strange at the time and now has snowballed. Two seasons later, Daniels bumped Young to third base in a contentious move to free up short for Elvis Andrus. Young's bat has continued to be solid, but he remained a defensive liability at third and in a much-publicized spat, is now headed to DH and first base after demanding a trade. However, thanks to Young's contract, it will be difficult to move him.

Daniels certainly shouldn't have signed Young to this deal, but that's not why this ranks as one of his three worst moves as GM. While there's a lot of "he-said, he-said" going on by both sides, the fact remains that Young is not very keen on speaking to Daniels and feels "misled." Whether or not you believe Daniels or Young (or think the true answer is somewhere in-between), Daniels should have done a far better job managing the crisis as this has become a nightmare, both in terms of Young's trade value and in public relations. Heck, it even made a three-year-old kid very upset.

2. A-Gone

It's hard to fault Jon Daniels for trading away Adrian Gonzalez as he needed pitching and had Mark Teixeira at first. But goodness, couldn't he have done better? In his second significant trade of his GM career -- the first was also pretty bad -- Daniels shipped away someone who would become one of the best first-basemen in the game in short order in Gonzalez to the Padres along with Chris Young, who fashioned a nice run for himself in the rotation for San Diego. Terrmel Sledge was a throw-in to get Adam Eaton, Akinori Otsuka and Billy Killian in return.

Eaton was a disaster, making just 13 starts and moving onto the Phillies where he was even worse, while Otsuka became the Rangers' closer but fell to injury in 2007 at age 35 and has not returned to the majors since. Killian is now in independent baseball.

Hey, every GM has trades they regret. It's part of life. But this is one regrettable trade that makes one really cringe looking back on it.

3. A-Rod to Soriano to Nothing

OK, so Daniels wasn't responsible for the initial trade of Alex Rodriguez, but he certainly was responsible for turning Rodriguez's return in Alfonso Soriano into something. Unfortunately, his first major trade was a flop when he shipped Soriano to the Washington Nationals for Brad Wilkerson, Armando Galarraga and Terrmel Sledge. Sledge would be shipped in another terrible deal a month later in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, while Wilkerson couldn't arrest the decline he began in his final season for the Nats in '06. He did not top 350 at-bats in the two seasons he was a Ranger.

While Galarraga was and still is nothing to write home about, he chewed up almost 500 innings for the Tigers after the Rangers essentially gave him away, predominantly as a starter the last three seasons -- and of course, as the architect of the 28-out perfect game. He is now a Diamondback and expected to serve in the back of the rotation. These types of pitchers are far from sexy and you can't blame Daniels for tossing Galarraga in the deal, but it only serves to make this deal look even worse given he got absolutely nothing of value for Soriano, which in turn meant the team got nothing for A-Rod.

In Daniels' defense, he was handicapped by Soriano entering the final year of his deal, but Daniels should have looked for prospects in any deal, not an outfielder on the decline, a pitcher he would give away a couple years later and a bit piece that would go on to become part of Daniels' worst trade to date.

Dishonorable Mention: Not to pile on Daniels, who has turned into a very fine GM, but just like he has plenty of candidates for honorable mention, he has candidates for this category as well. Signing Kevin Millwood to a five-year, $60 million deal was head-scratching at the time and he stumbled badly on December 23, 2006 when he dealt away John Danks, Nick Masset and Jacob Rasner to the White Sox for Brandon McCarthy and David Paisano. Danks and McCarthy were two highly-regarded prospects at the time, but Danks is the one that blossomed, while Masset would go on to bust out himself as an important part of the Reds bullpen.

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Posted on: February 22, 2011 3:36 pm

Red Sox won't let Gonzalez get away

When the Red Sox traded several prospects for one of baseball's top sluggers in early December, there was little doubt they would cough up the big bucks necessary to lock him up long term. After all, Adrian Gonzalez is going to be a free agent after the 2011 season.

Still, it can't hurt for Red Sox Nation to hear the words directly from team president Larry Lucchino's mouth .

On a radio show in the Boston area, Lucchino told the hosts, "We're not going to let [Gonzalez] get away, we're going to get him signed for sure."

Gonzalez is set to make $6.3 million this season. In the unlikely event he does become a free agent, he'll join fellow slugging first basemen Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols on the market.

There have been reports of a $154 million deal in place to retain Gonzalez long term, but nothing has been officially inked just yet.

In Gonzalez, the Red Sox have a first baseman that does pretty much everything well. He draws walks, he hits home runs, he drives in runs, he scores runs and he has won two Gold Gloves. He's also durable, having played at least 156 games every season as a full-timer and at least 160 the past four seasons.

In 2010, Gonzalez hit .298/.393/.511 with 31 homers and 101 RBI, this with a lackluster supporting cast and playing in the cavernous Petco Park in San Diego for half his games. A move to the tough AL East should easily be mitigated by playing in a much more hitter-friendly park and having the kind of lineup protection he's never had at the big league level.

-- Matt Snyder

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Posted on: February 9, 2011 8:07 pm

Gonzalez arrives at Red Sox camp

Adrian Gonzalez Boston's new first baseman showed up for work a week early, and Adrian Gonzalez apparently didn't seem worried about his surgically repaired shoulder or his contract extension.

Gonzalez, traded from San Diego over the winter, had his first workout in Fort Myers, Florida, on Wednesday (photo courtesy of the Boston Globe ). He was the first Boston position player to arrive, as they aren't due until February 17. After October surgery to clean up his non-throwing shoulder, he hasn't been cleared to begin hitting yet, but hopes to start before the end of the month.

"I can't give you a day," he told the Globe. "All I know is I’ll be ready for opening day."

Gonzalez is expected to sign a large contract extension shortly after the start of the season, since by waiting until after opening day the Red Sox will avoid paying luxury tax on his salary this year. The parameters of the deal -- reported at one point as seven years for $154 million -- are thought to have been in place prior to the trade.

"We don’t have any deadline or anything like that. When I’m healthy and they see that I'm healthy and we all decide to sit down and talk about something, then that's what we'll do at that point. There's no rush for anything right now. The main thing is for me to get healthy."

Gonzalez also said that he opted not to try to pry his San Diego jersey number, 23, from Mike Cameron and will wear 28. He said research told him that number represents "God's divine courage and strength."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 25, 2011 10:51 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 11:14 pm

Trout leads MLB.com's prospect list

Mike Trout MLB.com unveiled its Top 50 prospect list in a special on MLB Network with Angels outfielder Mike Trout, pictured, leading the list -- you can see the entire list here , plus video highlights for each player.

It's no surprise Trout led the list and even less of a surprise that the Royals had six prospects in the top 50, more than any other team. Tampa Bay had four, while the Braves, Reds, Rockies, Yankees, Mariners and Blue Jays had three prospects on the lsit.

Four teams -- the Mets, Marlins, Brewers and A's -- weren't represented, while 14 teams had one player on the list.

Jake Odorizzi, the right-hander sent to Kansas City in exchange for Zack Greinke, was No. 37 on the list, while Chris Archer, who was sent from the Cubs to the Rays in the Matt Garza deal, was ranked No. 47. Casey Kelly, one of the prospects sent from the Red Sox to the Padres in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, was ranked No. 22.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 16, 2010 4:18 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2010 5:25 pm

Red Sox ship Patterson to Padres

Patterson The Red Sox shipped Eric Patterson to the Padres to complete the Adrian Gonzalez trade.

Patterson was the vague player to be named later and figures to compete for the starting second-base job out west. If he loses out, he'll be a reserve utilityman and could provide San Diego with steals.

Patterson hit .214/.272/.406 with 11 stolen bases, six homers, five triples and eight doubles over 204 plate appearances between the Athletics and Red Sox. The year before, Patterson hit .287/.373/.394 in 110 PA for the A's.

There was a school of thought that Daniel Turpen was on the list of PBTNLs, and that is why the Yankees selected him in the Rule 5 draft.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 14, 2010 9:17 am
Edited on: December 14, 2010 10:50 am

Winners and losers in Lee aftermath

Cliff Lee What in the world of Mike Cuellar is going on?

By adding Cliff Lee to the already-potent Roy Halladay-Roy Oswalt-Cole Hamels top of the rotation, the Phillies potentially have the best top of the rotation since the Orioles had four 20-game winners in 1971 with Cuellar, Pat Dobson, Jim Palmer and Dave McNally.

It's certainly the best rotation since the mid-90s Braves that featured Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, followed by someone like Steve Avery or Denny Neagle.

The bad news for the Phillies is that it wasn't starting pitching that let them down in October. It was not scoring enough runs against quality starting pitching from the Giants.

As for the offense, how has that changed? Jayson Werth, the team's best offensive player last season, is gone. Raul Ibanez and Placido Polanco are a year older -- and Jimmy Rollins seems to age two years for every year nowadays. He's not been the same player the last two years that he was before. There are also emerging questions about Chase Utley. And then there's Ryan Howard, who is still imposing in the lineup, but suddenly looks less protect and reminds people that he's 31 with fewer home runs than the year before in each of the last two seasons.

Still, ask most teams and they'd take their chances with Howard, Utley, Polanco and even roll the dice on whether Rollins will be happy, as long as they're behind a starting rotation for the ages, like the Phillies have accumulated.

The Phillies are the clear winner in this whole deal. Because even if there are chinks in the armor, it's still one heck of a suit of armor -- especially the sleeves.

For the Yankees, Andy Pettitte becomes that much more important to the Yankees. Pettitte has reportedly been mulling retirement, but is crucial to the team's rotation going forward. And if you think the Yankees feel bad about these developments, let's think about how the Mets feel having to be in the same division as Lee, Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels.

The Rangers, on other hand, were right all along. They could offer Lee comfort the Yankees couldn't match, and something he obviously valued in the end. However, the Phillies offered not only the pillow top mattress, but one he'd slept like a baby in before.

Texas also has a World Series-type team, but one without an ace. The Rangers weren't serious contenders until they pulled Lee from the Mariners last season, and now they're faced with the same problem months later.

The rivalry between New York and Boston means any time the Yankees lose, the Red Sox win and vice versa. The Red Sox, who have added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez are better (no matter what Evan says ), and the Yankees aren't as good as expected -- so the Sox win.

The biggest winner in all this -- besides the Phillies and Lee -- could be the Royals. Kansas City is dangling a bona fide No. 1 starter in Zack Greinke. And don't think Andrew Friedman in Tampa isn't receiving calls on Matt Garza about right now. The prices on those two starters haven't gone down in the last 12 hours, that's for sure. If you're going to get one of those, you'll have to pay.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 12, 2010 9:30 pm

Additions of Crawford, Gonzalez not a cut above?

There's certainly cause for celebration in Boston these days, as the Red Sox have added Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to an incredibly deep lineup.

However, is the lineup any better than 2010, when Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre helped anchor it?

Check out the figures below for the players' 2010 seasons:

Victor Martinez 127 493 149 64 32 20 79 0.302 0.351 0.493 0.844
Adrian Beltre 154 589 189 84 49 28 102 0.321 0.365 0.553 0.919
Total 281 1082 338 148 81 48 181        
Carl Crawford 154 600 184 110 30 19 90 0.307 0.356 0.495 0.851
Adrian Gonzalez 160 591 176 87 33 31 101 0.298 0.393 0.511 0.904
Total 314 1191 360 197 63 50 191        

The bold numbers indicate who holds the edge in the categories in question.

So far, the new duo blows the old duo out of the water. More hits, runs and RBI by a comfortable margin. The one warning sign comes in home runs where Crawford/Gonzalez only lead by two but trail significantly in doubles.

There's one problem, though: while Crawford and Beltre both appeared in 154 games, there's quite a divide in games played by Gonzalez and Martinez. Gonzalez got to play in 160 while Martinez played in less thanks to being a catcher and missing time with injury. That limited V-Mart to just 127 games.

Let's look at the numbers again, but pro-rated over a full 162 games:

162-game projections G H R 2B HR RBI          
Victor Martinez 162 190 82 41 26 101          
Adrian Beltre 162 199 88 52 29 107          
Total 324 389 170 92 55 208          
Carl Crawford 162 194 116 32 20 95          
Adrian Gonzalez 162 178 88 33 31 102          
Total 324 372 204 65 51 197          

Now that changes things a bit.

There are a few caveats, however. First is the lack of impact defense has on this chart. Gonzalez and Crawford are Gold Glove-caliber players. Beltre is as well at third, but V-Mart certainly isn't a defensive catcher. In fact, Detroit plans to have him play the bulk of his time at DH.

In favor of Crawford and Gonzalez in this comparison is the fact that Gonzalez' power number should rise dramatically at Fenway. Crawford, too, may be able to get over the 20-home run hump that is causing many to scoff at such a lucrative deal for someone who has never hit 20 home runs. Given Crawford impacts the game in so many other ways and checked in with 19 home runs in 2010, it's a strange thing to scoff at.

In addition, it's no sure thing Martinez could repeat his numbers if he continued down the path of catching full-time, although he probably would have approximated his numbers once more in 2011. Beltre, on the other hand, has now turned in two sublime seasons in contract years and hasn't been a factor on offense otherwise. His volatility cannot be discounted.

Ah, but on the flip side, Martinez and Beltre both fill impact positions at catcher and third base. The former position is no easy feat to find above-average offensive production, while third base is important defensively and is no picnic to fill offensively.

First base and left field, on the other hand, are two of the easiest positions to find bats at -- and even defense, if one was so inclined. But defense at first and left is less important than other positions.

Will Beltre and Martinez outperform Crawford and Gonzalez next season offensively as well as defensively? Probably not, but the difference is a lot closer than one may think.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 10, 2010 1:15 pm

What does Bruce deal mean for Votto?

Joey Votto
Jay Bruce, four years from free-agent eligibility, has been locked up by the Reds for six years (with an option for a seventh).

That has Reds fans wondering whether the team's next move is to try to extend National League MVP Joey Votto, who is three years from free agency. He could get an extension similar to what Adrian Gonzalez, a year away from free agency, is getting ready to sign with the Red Sox.

The trouble is, from Votto's perspective, it doesn't make sense to sign long-term -- especially after seeing the contract Carl Crawford just signed. Even if the Reds offer Votto big money, nobody can predict how ridiculous the market will have gotten by 2014. He knows he's going to get the most possible money -- from the Reds or someone else -- when he has the most possible suitors. And if you read these recent comments by Votto, it doesn't sound like he's interested in limiting his options or giving Cincinnati a hometown discount.

Probably the best the Reds can hope for is a multi-year deal that covers some or all of Votto's pre-free agency years, like the two-year contract Prince Fielder signed with the Brewers. It would give the Reds cost certainty, which they don't have with arbitration, and protect Votto in case his performance falls off a cliff.

-- David Andriesen

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