Jon Daniels Discusses Adrian Gonzalez Trade

Rangers GM Jon Daniels was in his first offseason on the job five years ago, though he made what is arguably his second most memorable trade to date. In December 2005, Daniels agreed to trade Adrian Gonzalez to the Padres as part of a three-player package for Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka. Gonzalez was only 23 at the time, but he had just completed his third year in Triple-A, hitting .338/.399/.561. Mark Teixeira, then 25, was coming off an All-Star season that saw him hit .301/.379/.575 with 43 homers. There didn't appear to be room for both.

Daniels spoke to's Alex Speier about the trade, admitting that they made the move to bolster their short-term playoff chances.

"Our error in that was not so much our evaluation of Adrian," Daniels said. "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.”

Daniels added that other teams had inquired about Gonzalez before the trade went down, but Texas didn't project him to be the star-caliber player he's become. As funny as it sounds now, Daniels said the question then "was how much power" Adrian would provide. In the five years since the trade, only eight players have hit more homers than Gonzalez, who's been stuck in Petco Park. "Clearly, had we known [how good he'd become], we would have found a way to make it work," said Daniels.

Every GM that's been on the job long enough has horror stories. Brian Cashman traded a young Mike Lowell for three pitching prospects that contributed next to nothing at the big league level. Theo Epstein acquired an awful half-season of Eric Gagne for three young players, including David Murphy, who drove in the game-winning run against Epstein's Red Sox yesterday. Shin-Soo Choo was traded for Ben Broussard. The list goes on and on. Daniels made up for it less than two years later, when he made his best deal to date by acquiring five young players for Teixeira and Ron Mahay. That deal netted closer Neftali Feliz, shortstop Elvis Andrus, starting pitcher Matt Harrison, and catcher turned trade chip Jarrod Saltalamacchia. No one can win them all, but you'd like the losses to not include a player of Gonzalez's caliber.

20 Responses to Jon Daniels Discusses Adrian Gonzalez Trade Leave a Reply

  1. So what’s the Padres’ excuse?

    • woadude 4 years ago

      The Padres got a really good package for Adrian, watch when we come back to this trade 3-4 years from now and you will know the Padres’ excuse.

  2. Ethanator99 4 years ago

    Take notice Reds! Don’t let the same thing happen to you in this Votto/Alonso situation! It sounds eerily similar to me.

    • ARod's Ring 4 years ago

      It really does

      • Ethanator99 4 years ago

        Right down to the “how much power” question.

    • The fact is that sometimes this stuff happens. Sure, you could invest more into scouting and evaluating players. In the end, good players get traded. Hindsight is 20-20.

    • RahZid 4 years ago

      Except that the Reds don’t have the benefit of a DH slot like the Rangers did.

  3. The trade was not well received in DFW at the time but not because Adrian Gonzalez was included. Fans did not like the fact that Chris Young was traded away. The Rangers have always had trouble with starting pitching and trading away a 26 year old starter coming off a decent season did not seem to make much sense.

  4. FrankFranciscoSaysTakeASeat 4 years ago

    It’s always refreshing to hear a GM take accountability for his mistakes and failures instead of funneling excuses and rumors through writers such as Ken Rosenthal and Jon Heyman.

  5. JohnRhadiganIsTheWorst 4 years ago

    Can the Rangers also trade away John Rhadigan, please?

    “The wind might have hurt Kinsler’s swing there.” Huh?

    “A solid single by Ellsbury.” On an easy double.

    “Gonzalez thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.” Uh, no, he was trying to advance on the throw home. That’s not a double. But who would expect a major league play-by-play man to know obscure baseball rules like that?

    This guy will go down as the biggest strikeout of Nolan Ryan’s career. Bring back Josh Lewin. For all of his faults, he was a professional play-by-play man. Rhadigan was and always will be a mediocre weekend sports anchor.

    • I have to agree with you. I wasn’t a Josh Lewin fan but he wasn’t this annoying. When they announced Rhadigan had the job, I wasn’t happy but I was going to give him a chance. During spring training games when he went on and on about the stupidest things, I thought ‘Its spring training. Long games, lots of air time to fill, he’ll get better.’ But yesterday was horrible. He not only did not add anything to the game, he took away from the enjoyment of a Rangers win.

    • FrankFranciscoSaysTakeASeat 4 years ago

      Yeah, he seems like a nice enough guy, but he’s not going to get any better. He’s just in way over his head.

      When the great Steve Busby stopped by the booth for an inning it just showed the talent gap there. Busby has a easy-to-listen-to voice and knows the game. Rhadigan sounds like a kazoo and is used to reading his knowledge off of a teleprompter.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      “The wind might have hurt Kinsler’s swing there.”

      this is awesome

    • woadude 4 years ago

      He must be related to Joe Buck somehow, because they are a bird of the same feather.

      • JohnRhadiganIsTheWorst 4 years ago

        Last night’s Ian Kinsler HR … “This one is driven to right-center field…”

        Only problem with that call, the ball was hit to left-center.

  6. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    “Our error in that was not so much our evaluation of Adrian,” Daniels said.

    Texas didn’t project him to be the star-caliber player he’s become.

  7. $3866193 4 years ago

    Blech. The Teixeira deal. As a Braves fan, that still haunts me.

  8. Beauford 4 years ago

    I wonder if Daniel’s other mistake John Danks (for Brandon McCarthy) ends up back in his home state of Texas via trade before 2012 or free agency after the 2012.

    If they can’t sign Danks (which they have tried), I would think the Sox would rather trade him for a package rather than let him walk and receive two draft choices (assuming that the renegotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement after this season doesn’t eliminate draft choice reimbursement for lost free agents.)

  9. Can’t you say the same about every major league player?

  10. MB923 4 years ago

    Except Oliver Perez

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