Jon Daniels Rumors
Rangers GM Jon Daniels chatted with ESPN readers yesterday afternoon. A few nuggets:
- Daniels explained that Josh Hamilton will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2012 season, and "a lot can happen between now and then that could keep him in Texas beyond that point." Hamilton reportedly turned down a four-year, $24MM offer in 2009. Rangers president Nolan Ryan recently testified that Hamilton's salary could jump to $8-10MM in 2010 if he wins the MVP award.
- Daniels has let the agents for Vladimir Guerrero and Cliff Lee know he'd like to re-sign their clients, but he feels it's best to talk specifics in the offseason.
- It's "certainly possible" Tanner Scheppers will make his MLB debut this year, and Daniels says the Rangers "don't really make decisions based on service time." The 23-year-old righty sports a 3.76 ERA, 9.2 K/9, and 3.4 BB/9 in 52.6 Triple A innings this year.
- The Rangers were discussing Cristian Guzman with the Nationals prior to Ian Kinsler's injury; Daniels viewed Guzman as a luxury at that point.
- The expectation is that the Rangers will be able to announce the player to be named received from the Red Sox in the Jarrod Saltalamacchia deal shortly.
- Daniels has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave if the Rangers are sold to a group other than the one fronted by Chuck Greenberg, but he said yesterday that "leaving the Rangers is not remotely on my mind" and "I love it here."
Jon Daniels was announced as the new general manager of the Rangers on October 4th, 2005. At 28, he was the youngest GM in Major League history.
In mid-November of '05, Daniels struck his first deal. He and Cubs GM Jim Hendry agreed on a trade that would send righty Jon Leicester to Texas for a player to be named later. Minor league pitcher Clint Brannon was sent to the Cubs as the PTBNL in March. Daniels was kind enough to answer a few questions about his first trade.
MLB Trade Rumors: How long did you have your eye on Leicester before making the deal? He was coming off a rough year in Iowa; what did you see in him? As one of the Cubs' better prospects heading prior to the '05 season, were you surprised they'd part with him for a player to be named later or cash?
Jon Daniels: He was an out of options reliever – a guy we'd had good reports on in the past, had recently gotten over an injury I believe. We looked at him as a nice buy low opportunity, with a chance to pay dividends if it clicked. The Cubs didn’t have a spot for him – some clubs hold their out of options guys as long as possible – others recognize he's not part of their plans and move quicker, that's what happened here.
MLBTR: The Cubs ended up getting Brannon in March to complete the deal, but got only 7.3 A ball innings out of him. Did any of the other choices on the Cubs' list of possibilities end up playing in the Majors?
Daniels: I don't think there were other names, actually. Brannon was the only guy we discussed. He'd had some low level success the year before – might have actually set the Northwest League ERA record if I recall – but didn't do well in Chicago. That's OK – Leicester hurt himself in some odd off-field deal and didn't really pan out here – no one made out in this one.
MLBTR: Does the Leicester trade hold significance for you as your first deal, or was it overshadowed by the bigger trades that soon followed?
Daniels: Not a lot of significance other than the fact I get to say I traded for Jon "Lester" before people realize it’s the one spelled "Leicester."
MLBTR: What kind of relationship did you have with Jim Hendry prior to the Leicester trade?
Daniels: I knew Jim some from his dealings with John Hart when I worked for John. We'd spent some time together at GM and Winter Meetings before, but we didn't have a lot of history together. We've worked together a couple of times since.
MLBTR: At just 28 years old, what kind of reception did you get from other GMs after you got the job?
Daniels: Respectful and positive for the most part. My age was a novelty for the first while, but more with media and fans than with counterparts around the league, at least outwardly.
We've got all kinds of Rangers links to dish out...
- ESPN's Richard Durrett has a fantastic article focusing on Rangers GM Jon Daniels. The piece chronicles Daniels' rise, his early mistakes (especially the Josh Beckett non-trade), and the May '07 decision to stockpile young talent.
- Daniels admitted to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that the Rangers don't have a lot of catching depth right now, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Toby Hall battling ailing shoulders.
- ESPN's Keith Law says his "early look [at Rich Harden] was very discouraging." The Rangers guaranteed $7.5MM to Harden in the December signing.
- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News wonders if the Rangers and Twins can match up on a trade, with Texas sending bullpen arms to Minnesota for an infielder and/or catcher.
- Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram polled "several baseball people" on whether Chris Davis or Justin Smoak will be the team's starting first baseman in 2012. Surprisingly, Mitch Moreland's name came up multiple times. The Galloway blurb led Jamey Newberg to ponder whether Davis or Smoak could be traded this summer.
- The Rangers' sale to Chuck Greenberg is on track to be finalized on April 1st, tweets Sanchez.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan sees out of options Rangers pitcher Luis Mendoza as a trade candidate if he doesn't make the team.
- For even more on the Rangers, check out our Offseason In Review from March 4th.
Brendan Bianowicz has one more big update to our GM Trade History Series. Check out the AL West spreadsheets below for GM information on trades, free agent signings, and more.
- Texas Rangers - Jon Daniels
- Seattle Mariners - Bill Bavasi and Jack Zduriencik
- Oakland Athletics - Billy Beane
- Los Angeles Angels - Tony Reagins
MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan examined what some of the Rangers' plans might be this winter, and here are some of the highlights...
- A right-handed bat is at the top of the Texas wish list for the off-season, with Sullivan singling out Jermaine Dye as perhaps the best fit for the Rangers amongst the veteran hitters on the free agent market.
- There is a good chance that veteran shortstop Omar Vizquel will re-sign with Texas before the club's exclusive negotiating period for free agents ends on November 19. Sullivan reports that "there appears to be genuine interest on both sides" to bring the 11-time Gold Glover back for his 22nd big-league season in 2010.
- Texas GM Jon Daniels says that the team would like to bring back free-agent outfielder Marlon Byrd, but since Byrd wants to test the market, "it's just not going to happen in the exclusive window period, if it's going to happen at all."
- The Rangers want to see how Jarrod Saltalamacchia rebounds from shoulder surgery before looking at re-signing veteran catcher and franchise legend Ivan Rodriguez.
- In regards to the other four Texas free agents, Sullivan said that Andruw Jones and Hank Blalock won't be pursued by the club, Eddie Guardado may retire and Joaquin Benoit is "in limbo" following shoulder surgery that sidelined him for all of 2009.
- If Ben Sheets is able to pitch in 2010, the Rangers still have interest in the right-hander who they thought they had signed last January.
- Relief pitching will become a priority if Neftali Feliz and C.J. Wilson are moved to the rotation. Sullivan lists several bullpen options for the Rangers, many of whom have pitched in Texas before.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com gathered a few hot stove-related nuggets from Rangers general manager Jon Daniels on Tuesday afternoon. Let's dig in...
- Daniels thinks there won't be enough "sellers" by the time the July 31 trade deadline rolls around. "There are just not that many teams decidedly looking to move players," he said. "There are very few teams that are not within striking distance."
- The Texas GM acknowledged that a scout was present for Pedro Martinez's workout in the Dominican Republic last week, but the 37-year-old right-hander's contract demands are currently too high.
- In the end, grabbing a starting pitcher is probably going to be too costly, both in salary and prospects. (Or just salary, if we're talking about free agent Ben Sheets).
- "Relief is more realistic," Daniels concluded.
Jeff Wilson, writing for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, has a few more updates on the Rangers' hot stove situation:
- Jason Jennings is still on the team's radar. His agent and GM Jon Daniels had multiple conversations last week. Jennings, 30, struggled last season before undergoing surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon. He should be ready for spring training and is likely to come cheap.
- The lines of communication remain open with free agent Ben Sheets, but there hasn't been much progress. Wilson believes that might change now that the Mets have agreed to a deal with Oliver Perez.
The MLB Hot Stove Blog is reporting that free-agent veteran Sammy Sosa won't be playing for the Florida Marlins.
Joe Frisaro believes the Marlins want to go into Spring Training with a younger group of outfielders, in particular John Raynor and Scott Cousins, competing for a major-league job.
Raynor is a speedster and played for Double-A Carolina Mudcats in 2008. He hit .312 over 452 plate appearances, and he stole 48 bases. He can play left field or center field.
Cousins split 2008 between Carolina and High-A Jupiter. He hit .304 with the Jupiter squad and dropped to .264 with the Double-A club. He primarily saw time at right field and center field.
Frisaro wrote that Jeremy Hermida will switch from right field to left field, and Cody Ross will be in right field.
Rangers beat writer Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes that the Texas Rangers don't want Sosa's services, either. "I don't think we'll pursue Sammy," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels wrote.
C. Trent Rosecrans of TheLotD.com, and formerly of the Cincinnati Post, spoke with Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty about Sosa. "I don't think so," Jocketty told Rosecrans.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels agreed to answer some questions for MLBTR. Pretty cool, eh? Leave your suggested questions for him in the comments and I will choose the best five or six. Impress me! Note that he is not at all likely to talk about players under contract with other teams.