Poll: The Rangers’ Offseason

Rangers President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels entered the winter with a checklist that included addressing his club's glut of middle infielders, re-signing or replacing Nelson Cruz in the outfield, and upgrading at first base. And as MLBTR's Charlie Wilmoth noted in a previous article, many of those objectives appear to have been met.

Shin-Soo Choo, inked earlier this month, should provide a major boost to the lineup of a team that's focused on winning now. A swift, high-OBP outfielder, he's a superior player to Cruz, who he'll likely replace in right field. In November, Daniels shipped Ian Kinsler to the Tigers for Prince Fielder and $30MM, landing a durable left-handed bat at first base, where his club has long lacked a traditional slugger type. The deal also freed top prospect Jurickson Profar to play second base full time, and he's expected to perform well. While Texas was a good offensive club in 2013, ranking eighth in the majors in runs, these moves vault the Rangers lineup into the game's elite tier. In addition, acquiring one of their big bats via trade means Texas surrendered just one draft pick. 

The Rangers took on significant payroll and contract years with these deals, however. Many have questioned whether it was wise to give Choo, a 31-year-old whose power disappears against left-handed pitching, seven years and $130MM. Fielder, 29, slumped in 2013 to a .279/.362/.457 line, causing some to wonder whether he's becoming a good player who'll be paid like a great one. Even after receiving $30MM in the trade, Texas will still pay Fielder $138MM over the next seven years. The Rangers also missed out on Brian McCann, whose versatile skillset would have been an excellent fit for the Texas lineup. Instead, they re-signed Geovany Soto to handle their primary catching duties in 2014. Soto, 30, performed admirably as A.J. Pierzynski's backup last season but hasn't been a strong contributor in a full-time role since 2011.

Are these sensible moves for a team that's firmly in win-now mode? Or do you see Texas as having taken on too much risk this offseason?

Full Story | 115 Comments | Categories: Texas Rangers

115 Responses to Poll: The Rangers’ Offseason Leave a Reply

  1. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan 2 years ago

    I really wanted the Rangers to win the 2010 World Series, I really did.
    2011 somewhat, can’t explain why except they were fresh and new and I was excited for them. Anyway, the way I feel about it is that Boras is shaking them down and the Rangers are paying an exorbitant amount of money and I am not sure what they are getting. However, if the Ranger fans are happy, then what I say really doesn’t matter.
    I just think they are going to miss Nolan Ryan.

    • Rene2331 2 years ago

      Love the Fielder acquisition but the choo deal, I think they’ll start to regret by his 2nd year, too much money.

    • Curt Green 2 years ago

      I did too. Being a Nolan Ryan fan and Washington breaking in with the Twins, it was only right that they did. The money coming into Texas (and all the other teams with TV deals) is just mind boggling. Who knows if these contracts will hamstring them.

    • Kendall Cooper 2 years ago

      I will miss seeing him in the front row of every home game. It is always inspiring to see an owner actually attend their teams games. However, the Rangers have a good staff in place and I have confidence that they can move the team in the right direction (except for the Garza deal…I hated that one before it even happened).The Chris Davis deal is excusable due to the fact that he was given ample opportunities for the Rangers and just never flourished. I am glad he did in Baltimore though, all three of my visits have been pleasant and I always enjoy the beautiful stadium.

      • Steven Russell 2 years ago

        I will miss seeing him as well, I felt like he had a good impact on the players, especially the pitcher.

        I hated the Garza deal too, especially if we had no intentions of bringing him back, I’d rather have the prospect tbh. I loved Chris Davis but he tore up the minors and did nothing in the majors, it was a strange phenomenon and he had all kinds of chances. I hate that he didn’t do it here but I’m still a fan of his.

      • Yankees420 2 years ago

        How did Chris Davis have “ample opportunities” with the Rangers
        exactly? The dude was given two chances in which he
        accumulated more than 150 PA in the majors, and those were his first two years at age 22 and 23 – and that age 22 season, he slugged .549 so he showed his potential against big league pitching. I can see the “Davis needed the change of scenery” argument applying, but Texas still traded him at his lowest value, and received 56 innings of work from Uehara for him.

        • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

          I don’t even have a clue what numbers you cherry picked. That .549 SLG was from his rookie stint, in which he had 317 PAs, more than double what you said the Rangers gave him.

          The next year he got 419 PAs and OPS’d .726.
          The year after that he got 136 PAs and OPS’d .571.
          The first half of 2011, he got 81 PAs and OPS’d .704.
          Overall, the Rangers gave him 953 PA’s in which he OPS’d .755; in other words, over the next 3 1/2 years, he failed to match the potential he showed as a rookie. That’s only 6 times as many PA’s as you said he got. And how is almost 1000 PA’s NOT “ample opportunities??

          Koji Uehara pitched 54 innings (seriously, what site do you use for your stats?)

  2. Taylor 2 years ago

    At the end of the day its all about execution. If they win a championship itll be worth it even if they become old and sluggish when fielder and choo are ending their contracts.

  3. jury_rigger 2 years ago

    Loaded question. What if you like some and not others?

    • johansantana15 2 years ago

      Decide whether or not you like the moves you like more than you hate the moves you hate or don’t vote.

  4. MadmanTX 2 years ago

    The Rangers rotation gets better with guys like Harrison coming back from injuries. The lineup is very improved–goodbye Murphy and Cruz, hello Choo. Goodbye Kinsler and hello Prince and a regular gig for Profar. Murphy and Moreland were anemic at the plate, we all know about Cruz last season and Kinsler was streaky (good and bad). Unless the team is hit by injuries, you can’t help but notice how powerful this lineup is right now.

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      Relative to the era, the Rangers have a powerful lineup but it’s still top heavy. The question is how much production do they get from their bottom half, which usually makes up the difference between a good offense and a great offense. I guess being a child of the 80s and seeing the stacked Rangers lineups of the steroid era, I sometimes set the bar on their offense a little high and forget that in this era the Rangers can score 150 fewer runs than 10 years ago and still be a great offense. Plus, this era doesn’t feature many fully stacked lineups at all, so I think there’s a good argument for the Rangers having the best offense. This is coming from a due hard Angels fan too. 😉

      • Chase Johnston 2 years ago

        Profar and Leonys will be a fun bottom of the line up, comes down to Soto/Arrencibia and Moreland.

  5. baybombers 2 years ago

    very interested watching the rangers after i purchase mlb.tv..

  6. chris german 2 years ago

    I’m a Yankees fan, but I love Darvish and I do root for the Rangers. They have a great team and deserve to win a championship.

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      I’m a die hard Angels fan and even I think the Rangers deserve their shot. Their front office has finally made an effort to emphasize pitching and it’s paid off in many big ways for them and their fans. It also makes a much more exciting division that for a long time was the Angels and everyone else. Despite missing the playoffs the last 4 years, I’m glad there’s exciting summer baseball and fierce head to head matchups now that the Rangers (and A’s) are contending every year. I’m actually more proud of the A’s because of my age. Still, I think the Rangers and their fans deserve their shot.

  7. Kendall Cooper 2 years ago

    Over the past two seasons, Mike Trout has reached base safely the most times (564), followed by Miggy (562), Choo (556), and Fielder (542). The Rangers added two of the top 4 guys. As for the contracts, they may be expensive but that is market value in these days. With the international free agent cap and MLB draft cap, teams have no where else to put their money except into free agents and extensions which has driven the price up. Once the Yanks gave Ellsbury 7/153, the market was set for Choo. Ellsbury might be a year younger and more dynamic if healthy, but he has spent significant time on the disabled list. From 2009-2013, Choo played in less than 144 games once (85)…Ellsbury played in less than 144 games 3 times during that span (18,74, and 134) and two of those were the past two years.

    • Steven Russell 2 years ago

      good post! I agree, the market for free agents is just getting higher, a 100 million dollar contract isn’t what is used to be. A team like Texas that has a good farm system and a pretty good roster before the offseason can’t really improve a whole lot by adding cheap guys because they likely aren’t upgrades over what they have so they need impactful moves and players and they have big money with new national and local TV deals, top 5 attendance, a big market with lots of revenue. They have to spend it somewhere and they’ve already renovated the park and are doing more this offseason. Texas fans should be happy they are spending money because there are a lot of teams out there that just don’t. Sure, I’m not a fan of 7 years of Choo but that’s just how it is, good players get paid and this player is a hard worker, extremely focused and disciplined.

      Plus, the hitters market isn’t going to be all that great and prices are likely to just get higher. Regarding Fielder, there’s no way you sign Prince Fielder for 138 million over 7 years if he’s a free agent at 29 years old, that’s a steal.

    • jdouble777 2 years ago

      WAR last three seasons

      Choo: 1.3 – 2.4 – 5.2
      Ellsbury: 9.1 – 1.4 – 5.8

      Don’t ever put these two in the same equation, it is straight up illogical. Choo has no chance in centerfield, lucked into a brilliant season into a walk year, and is older. Ellsbury’s ceiling is unreal.

      • Kendall Cooper 2 years ago

        1. That’s why Choo won’t be playing center field.
        2. We all know WAR is a flawed stat.
        3. I acknowledged that Ellsbury is more dynamic, but you ignored the health factors that I pointed out which is why I took away from Ellsbury. Straight up, with no health concerns, I would take Ellsbury easily; however, that cannot be said.

        • Joseph Jonathan Herrera 2 years ago

          Is their really a health factor with Ellsbury? His two major injuries were impact injuries, hardly a sign of a guy who’s body is betraying him and therefore injury prone. You certainly cannot ignore the injuries he’s had, but I also think he has a good a chance of anyone of maintaining his value for at least the first couple of years left in his prime.

      • RC23 2 years ago

        at 30 Ellsbury’s ceiling is “unreal”?

        I think the Yankees would GLADLY take a repeat of his 2013 performance and would be fine with a bit less.

      • Lord of the Fries 2 years ago

        There’s no evidence that Choo’s year was a fluke, he’s generally been a pretty solid player. Also, Ellsbury is a year younger than Choo, it’s not like Choo is 40 and Ellsbury is 20. Ellsbury has likely hit his ceiling.

        • Steven Russell 2 years ago

          Indeed, Ellsbury also got 13 million more than Choo and Ellsbury relies a good deal on speed and athleticism which declines with age.

          • bjsguess 2 years ago

            Quite a bit has been written of late around decline. Speed tends to be a skill that ages quite well. A fast, defensive minded player can still have value even when the bat slows down. Think Kenny Lofton (who is a great comp for Ellsbury). When I see Choo I think of a guy like Abreu. A guy who was fairly productive until 35 then went to a zero virtually overnight.

            Anyway, do a little digging and I think you’ll be surprised at what people have learned when looking at aging curves and player types.

          • Lord of the Fries 2 years ago

            I think health plays into that. Ellsbury should continue to be a productive player as long as his health holds. As far as Choo, I also think that your critique is realistic, although I think that Texas should be happy if they get 3 or 4 productive years out of him, even if the back end of the deal turns out poorly.

          • bjsguess 2 years ago

            Here’s one article that I thought was well done by Dave Cameron over at Fangraphs – link to fangraphs.com

          • Steven Russell 2 years ago

            Thanks, I’ll check it out.

          • livestrong77nyyankz 2 years ago

            Everything declines with age

          • johansantana15 2 years ago

            what about patience at the plate and the ability to work counts and draw walks, which is Choo’s best selling point?

        • johansantana15 2 years ago

          Ellsbury’s biggest asset is speed, which is also usually the first ‘tool’ to decline, especially with players who get injured often. Choo’s biggest asset is his on-base skills, which to an extent actually improve over the course of a player’s career.

      • Steven Russell 2 years ago

        Choo will not player center for Texas though, he play a corner because they have a very good, young defensive centerfielder in Leonys Martin there. If you’re going to speculate about Choo’s year being a fluke then you should go ahead and assume Ells will be injured for most of his contract right? Texas is banking on the fact that Choo is disciplined and extremely focused at the plate, things like that stay with you. NY is banking on Ellsbury staying healthy and that his injuries are just bad luck.

        • Lord of the Fries 2 years ago

          Ellsbury had a very flukey season in 2011, much flukier than Choo’s 2013 season.

          • johansantana15 2 years ago

            correct, there is no way ellsbury is ever hitting 32 HRs again

      • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

        Since 2008, Choo has posted 24.3 WAR. In that same time, Ellsbury has posted 20.5 WAR.

        How nice of you to include Choo’s injured season, which happens to be Ellsbury’s career year, but not the year before, where Ellsbury was plagued by injury which was Choo’s best year (based on WAR).

        You’re right, you shouldn’t put Ellsbury and Choo in the same equation, because Choo is WAY more reliable than Ellsbury. Since 2008, Choo has failed to hit double digits in HRs ONCE, Ellsbury has failed EVERY year except once.

        • jdouble777 2 years ago

          Walking does not drive anyone home or get anyone on second base. This is Choo’s most dangerous weapon. His defense is not good enough to play centerfield. He cannot steal more than 20 bases. He cannot hit more than 20 HRs.
          Thus, Choo has plus power, plus speed, plus plus plate discipline, plus average, and below average defense.

          Ellsbury has plus plus defense, plus plus speed, plus average, and average power. WAR does not factor speed very well, thus years 2008 and 2009 when Ellsbury stole 70 and 50 while scoring 94 and 98 Rs hitting .280 and .301 he was granted 4.1 and 2.1 WAR.

          • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

            REALLY??? So there’s NEVER been a bases loaded walk, much less a runner on first and a walk in the history of MLB?? Someone’s forgetting that you can even strike out and win the game. Nelson Cruz and his walk-off strike out say “Hi”.

            I COULD say something ridiculous like “stealing bases doesn’t get runs home or get anyone to 2B” but I know that’s far from the truth. You should really think about it.

            No one in Texas is asking Choo to play CF. And while you think that Choo can’t hit more than 20 HRs, he’s done it twice, so I KNOW he can.

            EDIT: Did you REALLY use a stat, and then when that stat gets thrown back at you, call that stat a bad stat?

      • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

        There’s another discussion regarding the short RF porches in both their new home stadiums that could elevate the games of both players. There’s a chance Ellsbury could tap into his power numbers more to make up for what he lacks in plate discipline compared to Choo. I really would like to see their OPS+ after 2014.

    • johansantana15 2 years ago

      you’re picking a few cherries with those stats, but they are very impressive nonetheless. I do like replacing Cruz with Choo, but I didn’t the losses of Craig Gentry and David Murphy. I liked that they freed Profar, but I think they should have held on to Kinsler and moved him to 1B or DH while making Profar the everyday 2B so they could have avoided the risk of Fielder’s contract and the potential for decline (he will be 30 in May and had only a 1.7 bWAR last season). I also would have liked to see them add a reliable mid-rotation starter so they can keep Ogando in the bullpen.

      • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

        You can forget about Cruz’s suspension… David Murphy’s performance last year single-handedly cost us the season.

  8. Scott Krouse 2 years ago

    Texas made some great 2014 moves, But in the process made some horrible 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 moves. Within two years, they’ll be choking on those Choo and Fielder contracts and will look exactly like the 2013 Phillies.

    • Kendall Cooper 2 years ago

      Rangers have a much better farm system than the Phillies and do much better in international signings. Also, Ryan Howard (obviously their worst contract) hasn’t had an OBP above .360 since 2007. Choo and Fielder have both been getting on base at a very consistent rate, which plate discipline is usually one of the last assets to go. And as for contracts like Utley and Choo, the Rangers proved with Michael Young that they won’t keep older, declining players around just because they are fan favorites. These are key differences to consider before jumping the gun comparing them to the 2013 Phillies.

      • johansantana15 2 years ago

        Fielder’s OBP was only .362 last season and the number of walks he has drawn has decreased 3 seasons in a row.

      • Bernabe 2 years ago

        They had to eat $10m of Young’s $16m contract just to move him. When they are missing the playoffs/pennant by one game, $10m more to spend might/should get you another win or two. I wouldn’t label the Young move as a positive (especially since they tried to re-acquire him last August). Bad contacts are bad contracts and they can have an enormous impact on teams that operate within a budget.

    • Steven Russell 2 years ago

      Except that Texas has a really good farm system with big time potential players coming up which make for cheap contracts which make those Choo/Fielder deals hurt less. They have other young players like Holland, Perez, Andrus, Darvish, Profar, Choice and Martin under contract/control for a while as well. Not to mention deals of guys like Beltre and Rios coming off the books soon. Two big contracts like that aren’t that damaging especially when you can stick Fielder at DH and Choo at first for the latter years.

  9. skrockij89 2 years ago

    Rangers look like a scary team to play next year. They look promising!

  10. kungfucampby 2 years ago

    2014 Rangers are the trendy 2013 Toronto Blue Jays or the 2012 Detroit Tigers pick of the offseason.

    • williswinning 2 years ago

      My 2012 Tigers were pretty close.

    • Steven Russell 2 years ago

      The Blue Jays basically brought in a whole new team and some of i just didn’t really work out. The Tigers were very good and got very close to winning it all.

      I think the Rangers are different, the made two big moves but kept most of their team in tact for the most part. I think that adds up to good chemistry which helps in pressured situations and down the stretch of a baseball season. I haven’t seen the kind of buzz that the Redsox of a few years ago got, or the Blue Jays/Dodgers of the past couple years though.

      • bjsguess 2 years ago

        They lost their closer who had an amazing year. Trading Kinsler was huge. Cruz has been a staple in their lineup for more than half a decade. They are relying on Soto to man the backstop. There are plenty of big moves that the Rangers made.

        The reality is that the Jays players simply didn’t perform like they should have. I doubt chemistry had anything to do with it. It’s entirely possible that the Rangers could be in the same boat. All you have to do is take a look at the Angels and realize that Fielder/Choo aren’t all that different from Hamilton/Pujols. When Hamilton/Pujols were both ineffective it crushed the entire team. I’m not suggesting that Texas will face a similar fate just pointing out that extremely consistent super-stars sometimes don’t pan out … at least over the course of a single season.

        • Steven Russell 2 years ago

          They replaced Kinsler, Cruz, Berkman and Murphy with Rios(the 50 games Cruz missed), Choo, Fielder, Moreland and Profar. Soto and JPA are downgrades from AJP/Soto though, I agree. Defensively Soto is apparently better than AJP from what I hear and regarding framing pitchers. Profar is already a great defender so nothing will be lost at second base. Choo is a better defender than Cruz, which is easy to do lol

          The point I was trying to make was that when you watch the Rangers, there is a very noticeable chemistry on the team with guys like Elvis, Beltre, Holland, Darvish, Profar, Ron Washington. That is helpful when incorporating several new players. The Rangers did make a lot of moves but they kept their core together, although Kinsler was a huge part of that. Yes, it all comes down to production but Texas was already only a game out of the playoffs and looking at the lineups from last year compared to this year, it’s improved. Like you said, they could end up totally bombing. I haven’t checked the numbers but I know from watching Hamilton in Texas, he struck out often and didn’t walk a whole lot. Prince and Choo are more disciplined type of hitters and get on base more. Puljos, though, was crazy, and a good example. Then the rotation is automatically getting better from last year because we have Ogando and Harrison coming back healthy, along with Colby Lewis. Plus, we get Perez for the entire season. These are all assumption at this point but that’s about all we can do at this point and like you said, it all depends on how the players perform.

        • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

          I think you’re WAY off. Sure, I can see anyone comparing Fielder and Pujols. But to compare Hamilton to Choo, that’s ridiculous; the only thing they have in common is playing in the outfield. For Hamilton, everything is psychological. When he’s not mentally there, his gameplay suffers. Choo is always mentally there and focused.

          • bjsguess 2 years ago

            I can certainly compare Choo to Hamilton in terms of their talent and what they bring to the table. As for why Hamilton didn’t perform well in Anaheim – that’s anybody’s guess. There is nothing to suggest that it was “all” psychological.

            Point is, Hamilton was routinely a top 10 offensive performer that fell off the cliff last year. NOBODY predicted his performance and I mean nobody. Not pundits, not the projection systems. Maybe bitter Texas fans but I don’t count them. The three previous seasons his AVERAGE was 313/370/583. That fell all the way to 250/307/432. Choo wasn’t nearly the offensive performer that Hamilton was (his past 3 year average was 278/387/439). To pretend that Choo is impervious to a decline is ignoring the facts. Players collapse all of the time.

          • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

            Being a Rangers fan, I saw plenty first hand when he wasn’t mentally in the game and how he performed those days/nights. It has VERY much to do with him being an addict; fighting addiction IS psychological. Therefore, his performance, or lack there of, derives from the health of his psyche.

          • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

            You could also add to the argument by pointing out that Hamilton’s numbers away from Arlington might have been a warning sign. Same with Cruz, whose career slash line away from home was similar to Mark Trumbo’s career slash line (w/ 1/2 his games at a pitchers park). Hamilton’s OBP dropped off considerably on the road because he didn’t get the hits and homeruns he was getting in the video game ballpark he had at home. Now in a pitcher’s environment, that weakness was exposed. I actually saw it, but even I didn’t predict he’d be hitting below .220 in June. There’s something else at work there too. I’m seeing a .270 BA / .330 OBP with about 25-30 HR in 2014 for Hamilton. I’m fine with that since Trout is really the Angels centerpiece now. But that’s another discussion. I think it’s better to wait and see what Choo does with the Rangers before making comparisons to Hamilton, if we should be at all.

          • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

            I think we should wait until Choo gets addicted to drugs, falls out of baseball for 3-5 years, and makes a great comeback before comparing them. That’s a TON of emotional & psychological baggage to deal with. And that’s not really a knock on Hamilton as a person, that’s a compliment to his character, being able to work and succeed to the level he did with said baggage.

            EDIT: I mean from a non-statistical standpoint.

    • Lord of the Fries 2 years ago

      Not exactly, Toronto didn’t bring in nearly the quality of player as Texas has. And the Tigers undoubtedly benefited from Prince in 2012. Even though they got swept, they did win the AL pennant, so they’re kind of a bad example.

      • johansantana15 2 years ago

        Jose Reyes is a pretty quality SS. Fielder had a 1.7 WAR last season and people seem to forget that they traded Kinsler away to get him. That trade was a wash in my opinion. They added Choo and Choice but lost Gentry, Murphy, and Cruz. That was a small net gain in my opinion. They lost Pierzynski too and replaced him with JP Arencibia, who is atrocious. Small net negative. Expect progression from Profar, Martin, Choice, and Martin Perez but also expect regression from Beltre, Rios, Harrison, and Soto. Overall, a wash. I don’t think they’ll be any better than last season. Fangraphs projects an 86-76 season (link to fangraphs.com), which is actually 5 games worse than their record of 91-72 last season. To be fair, those projections tend to gravitate toward the mean (the best projection, the Dodgers, is only 89 wins and when is the last time the best team in the MLB only won 89 games?). Adjusting for this gets us back to about 91-72, the Rangers’ record last season.

        • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

          Exactly what regression are you expecting from Harrison?? Harrison started 2 games last year with an ERA of 8.44… you can’t really get any worse, because they had Justin Grimm give them 17 starts of 6.37 ERA…

          • johansantana15 2 years ago

            I was kind of just excluding Harrison’s 2013. It’s probably safe to say he’ll regress from his 2012. But yeah, you can’t much worse than his replacement last year. Still, I don’t think it will be a significant enough improvement for the Rangers to improve on their record from last year.

    • RyanWKrol 2 years ago

      They’re the safe pick based on their records over the last 4 seasons. Same with the A’s. But I think it’s a stretch to compare the hype around the Rangers to the Blue Jays.

    • talcha32 2 years ago

      Difference between last years Jays and next years Rangers is that people already knew Texas was going to be a playoff contender before they made these moves. Now they’re a legitimate WS contender again. Last year, people thought those moves were going to turn a pile of garbage into a block of gold. Much more unrealistic expectations there.

  11. jdouble777 2 years ago

    Fielder instead of Moreland HUGE UPGRADE
    Profar instead of Kinsler ???
    Choo instead of Cruz ???
    Soto instead of A.J. HUGE DOWNGRADE

    I think they are more or less the same team offensively as last year, with Harrison back and advancement of Perez the pitching should be better. Yu repeating last season would be wild, however. Holland finally took the step everyone thought he should have years ago, will that stay is anyone’s guess. Closer is another interesting proposition. This division will again be crazy to watch and likely boil down to the end as it appears Billy finally got the green light for some money, albeit on short-term contracts.

    • Steven Russell 2 years ago

      Choo over Cruz is a huge upgrade as well. He might not be as powerful but the defense in the outfield and being a hitter overall is just better than Cruz. I’ll miss him here in Texas but him taking the suspension during the season really hurt us and really angered some fans and probably management. Plus the money and contract length he wants makes Choo a better option. I don’t like the Choo contract much either though.

    • Kendall Cooper 2 years ago

      I was one of those people that never liked A.J. until he was on my favorite team. He posted a very unimpressive OBP with the Rangers, but the intensity he brought to the team was amazing. I will miss him.

    • rangersfan23 2 years ago

      Profar will be better than kinsler next year

    • Lord of the Fries 2 years ago

      Cruz is spectacularly overrated, Choo is definitely an upgrade.
      Ultimately, I think that Profar is an upgrade as well, depending on what he does this season.

    • Bcatz11 2 years ago

      Your off with your assessment. Rios replaced Cruz. IMO that is a wash. Cruz had more power, but was a liability in the field and on the bases.

      Rios instead of Cruz – even (possibly an upgrade)
      Fielder instead of Moreland ( big improvement)
      Profar instead of Kinsler (slight downgrade in very short term)
      Choo instead of Murphy/gentry (big upgrade)
      Soto instead of AJ (big downgrade on offense/ big upgrade on D and pitchers)
      Moreland/RH bat instead of berkman (improvement)

      All in all the rangers will be an improved team. I think the key for next season
      Is profar. If he can hit 275/330/400 then they will be a greatly improved team.

    • talcha32 2 years ago

      C – Soto/JPA >> Moreland
      2B – Profar ? Kinsler
      LF – Choo >>> Murphy
      RF – Rios > Cruz
      DH – Moreland > Berkman

  12. williswinning 2 years ago

    As a Tiger fan I’ll say that Texas is the team to beat IMHO.

    • FOmeOLS 2 years ago

      I just said the same thing about the Tigers

    • johansantana15 2 years ago

      whoa there guy. Detroit still has the best starting pitching in the AL for sure and they have the best hitter of this generation in Cabrera, not to mention other potential 5-7 WAR players in Kinsler and Jackson

      • charles stevens 2 years ago

        Verlander/Scherzer is about as good as it gets for a 1-2 punch but losing Fister hurts their depth. The Rangers have a stud in Darvish and are very strong 1-5. Perez is going to turn some heads this year. Two very good teams and both are in good position to do major damage.

        • johansantana15 2 years ago

          Don’t forget Anibal Sanchez, who is at least a very good number 2 and would be an ace on many teams.

  13. RC23 2 years ago

    I’d say the Rangers had a great offseason

    • RC23 2 years ago

      we’ll see what that means in 2014. The Toronto Blue Jays 2013 offseason champions award didn’t mean much as I recall.

      • Bcatz11 2 years ago

        Blue jays weren’t a 91 win team in 2012. They tried a complete overhaul to buy a pennant. The rangers core is intact from last year. Pitching staff, beltre, Andrus ect. Your comparing apples to oranges

      • talcha32 2 years ago

        Blue Jays weren’t 1 game away from the playoffs when they made those upgrades.

  14. Trent Golden 2 years ago

    For the next 2-3 years these moves are great….for the next 5-7 years these moves will be a constant source of complaint by the fans ala Carlos Lee’s Astros days

    • talcha32 2 years ago

      Disagree. Fielder will likely end up DH’ing for us soon which will keep him fresher as he ages. Choo will be interesting. If he starts falling off in 4-5 years, I’d bet Texas swallows some salary to trade him. Texas’ farm is loaded with OF talent, and my guess is a few of those will be ready to go around that time (Jairo Beras anyone?).

      • Trent Golden 2 years ago

        we’ll see….speed doesn’t age well, and if Choo’s OBP ever dips, he’d be a super marginal player. In 4-5 years, I don’t think there would be many takers for a 20M a year platoon player (except maybe the someone like the Yankees who love old players).

        If Fielder doesn’t start working on his conditioning, he’s Carlos Lee Jr very soon.

  15. They still need a quality rotation and I still don’t see one so can’t support the moves. On paper, it looks like impeccable offense, but that can fail easier than anything.

    • Steven Russell 2 years ago

      Darvish, Holland, Harrison, Perez and Ogando isn’t a quality rotation? They have one of the better ones in the league but they do need some depth which I’m sure they will address sometime this offseason either by FA or trade.

      • scs 2 years ago

        That is a great rotation, and really when you consider they have Colby Lewis and Nick Tepesch, plus Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers coming to camp as starters, that’s pretty good depth already. I’d still like to see them take a chance on someone looking for a bounce back year that they could take a look at in ST.

    • rangersfan23 2 years ago

      4th in era in al last season with injured rotation

    • Bcatz11 2 years ago

      ? What do consider a quality rotation. 2 of their top 4 starters were out all year and they were #4 in ERA (playing 1/2 their games in that ballpark).They get their opening day starter back (harrison), and Darvish, Holland, and especially Perez should all improve.

    • charles stevens 2 years ago

      Darvish is about as good as it gets for an ace. Holland, Harrison, Perez and Ogando are all very strong. I would go to war with that group against anyone.

    • talcha32 2 years ago

      Notsureifserious. Darvish, Harrison, Holland, and Perez is a very strong top four. Then we’ll have Ogando, Tepesch, Lewis, and Ross battling for the 5th spot. That’s going to be a really strong rotation. A lot stronger than the one that still finished in the top half of the league even though we replaced our opening day starter and the Cobra with two rookies for the entire season.

  16. Eddie Millhauser 2 years ago

    As an Angels fan I don’t care if they recruited my own mother to play for them, I’m still going to vote no lol.

  17. bjsguess 2 years ago

    My gut reaction is to yes – they made some nice upgrades (money aside). Here are the 2013 contributions of the former players + the 2014 projections by Steamer/Oliver (blended):

    2013 Moreland … 0.7 WAR
    2014 Fielder … 2.6 WAR

    2013 Kinsler … 3.0 WAR (adjusted for playing time)
    2014 Profar … 2.5 WAR

    2013 Cruz … 1.5 WAR
    2014 Choo … 3.8 WAR

    2013 Pierzenski … 1.6 WAR
    2014 Soto … 1.9 WAR

    WAR does a lousy job in evaluating closers but it’s pretty safe to say IMO that the drop from the 2013 Nathan to anyone else in the bullpen is probably at least 1 win – maybe 2.

    Overall, the team wins big at 1B and RF. They come out even at catcher and take a slight hit at 2B. Overall, including the loss of Nathan, the changes still look to be a 3+ win increase (at a minimum). If their overall payroll goes up $10-$15M it looks like they made solid changes to help them win now. Of course, when you look in the long-term they have taken on some serious money. Would it really by shocking if Fielder/Choo turn into the next Pujols/Hamilton in a few years?

    • Steven Russell 2 years ago

      Good post, I’m definitely not a fan of the length of the contracts, especially Choo because they already acquired Fielder. I don’t mind one because we can just move them over to DH and they are both relatively disciplined hitters with good OBPs so having one as a DH would be fine. I’m assuming they’ll have to move Choo to first sooner or later? Not sure. I was wanting to get Beltran or Cruz at smaller deals rather than Choo at 7 personally.

    • TFF17 2 years ago

      Those three wins would have gotten them into the playoffs the last two years, but it doesn’t quite close the gap with Oakland, Detroit, or Boston. As always, it comes down to the question of who is able to sustain/improve their 2013 performance and who falls off the table. The acquisitions help but don’t guarantee success.

  18. FOmeOLS 2 years ago

    Texas now has Two or three year window.
    Beltre is gone after 2015 and Choo will start losing his skills by then(if not sooner)
    The Rangers have about 2-3 years to win the World Series, and there’s a good chance they will.
    No one else in the AL has improved asuch as they have.
    Looks like a Tigers/Rangers ALCS

    • Bcatz11 2 years ago

      Agree 100%

    • oz10 2 years ago

      Have some very good prospects (I know, they are just prospects) in the lower levels that can start replacing these guys in 3-4 years so I doubt there will be a prolonged dip and these guys would be cost controlled while the bad part of Choo and fielders contract is happening.

    • AceRuby 2 years ago

      The A’s didn’t improve this offseason? Sure seemed like it to me and I’m not even an A’s fan. Beane’s in it to win at this point with all the moves he did and I don’t blame him as he knows he has a window to win now.

      • FOmeOLS 2 years ago

        The addition of Jim Johnson is a big deal, especially if Balfour turns out to indeed have a shoulder problem. The As have Craig Gentry now, which is a terrific addition, but the Rangers got Michael choice, which evens out.
        But the As didn’t improve as much as the Rangers have, and I think the West is for Texas to lose.

      • Chet Steadman 2 years ago

        adding Jim J who is questionable vs a proven consistent closer like Balfour is not what i would consider an upgrade. Yes, adding Gent was a good move though.

    • Tko11 2 years ago

      Looks like the season has not yet started.

    • talcha32 2 years ago

      Rangers have a loaded farm. They’re here to stay. People need to start getting used to this.

  19. Bradley Maravalli 2 years ago

    Don’t forget that Geovany Soto will be platooned with J.P. Arencibia which I think will be a great catching duo.

    • charles stevens 2 years ago

      Soto calls a good game and pitchers like him behind the plate. Think Bengie Molina. To me thats more important than getting offensive production from your catcher. Maybe a change of scenery and a reserve role will help Arencibia find his groove. Alfaro is coming along nicely and should be making the jump to AA this year.

  20. Carlos Aguilar 2 years ago

    maybe they’ll beat the A’s now. They only have double their budget so they might have a shot this time

    • talcha32 2 years ago

      Double? Might want to check that again. Sorry you’re so angry little A’s fan.

      • Carlos Aguilar 2 years ago

        I’m not angry man, just discussing stuff here casually. Like Josh Hamilton playing CF in clutch games

  21. toomanyhatz 2 years ago

    In the short run, at least, that is one HELL of an infield.

  22. TEXINTILLIDIE 2 years ago

    I doubt this counts much to everyone, but Choo’s batting Avg. vs. L/H relief pitching is 300. And besides the dreaded Angels, who have a offseason projected starting rotation with 3 L/H starters, the A’s & Astros only have 1 “projected” L/H starter. With the Mariners having zilch, division play alone is 76 games. And for some of the other A.L. Scary teams like the Yankees & Red Sox, they only have 1 L/H starter, with the Rays having 2. Not saying those our the only teams Choo will face in the rest of the A.L. Which accounts for 66 games. But I for one feel pretty confident and happy with him in the Rangers lineup… At least for the next 3 to 4 years!

  23. johansantana15 2 years ago

    Kinsler had 5.0 bWAR last season, Fielder has 1.7 bWAR. Choo is unplayable against lefties. Have they gotten any pitchers?

    • oz10 2 years ago

      “Taking one year and one specific analytic is always the best way to make player decisions” said no GM except Bowden.

      • johansantana15 2 years ago

        I was merely adding information to the discussion, not saying they shouldn’t have made the trade. Everybody here seems to forget that they traded Kinsler, an excellent player in his own right, to get Fielder.

    • talcha32 2 years ago

      Cherry pick your stats all you want bro. Texas’ lineup is now loaded. And they don’t need to add starters. We have last years opening day starter returning this year and already 4 options for the #5 spot. We’re good there.

  24. LoneTXRanger 2 years ago

    I think they did improve this offseason. You just have to be a little concerned about Choo. He has a multi year deal that I don’t feel he will be good all throughout. I say we keep him a year or two and then trade him. I also feel that Fielder will bounce back and Soto (playing everyday) will show why I really like him. Also you have Profar playing everyday. Overall a good offseason.

    • Daniel Franklin 2 years ago

      It’s easier than ever to make bad contracts and live with the consequences than ever before. There’s more national TV money coming in than ever before, and the new TV deals that most teams are signing will be able to offset at LEAST one bad $20M contract/year if not more.

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