Nick Masset Rumors
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has Rangers rumors for us today.
- Wilson sums up the suitors for catcher Gerald Laird: Yankees, Reds, Marlins, and Brewers. The Giants could also jump in if they trade Bengie Molina. Wilson heard that the Rangers are not shopping Laird, though.
- The Rangers inquired on three pitchers recently: Zack Greinke of the Royals, Boof Bonser of the Twins, and Nick Masset of the White Sox. Greinke would be near-impossible to pry loose, though Chris Davis would be an interesting offer.
This winter, Kenny Williams may shop three hard-throwing, recently acquired White Sox pitchers. Nick Masset, David Aardsma, and Andy Sisco have disappointed the Sox in their first seasons in the organization, and none earned September call-ups. Aardsma and Masset are out of options, so the Sox will probably lose them if they fail to earn spots with the big club next spring. Once a player is out of options he must clear waivers before he can be sent to the minors.
Masset will turn 26 next season. He came over from Texas in the Brandon McCarthy trade. The right has good command and can touch 96 on the gun. Masset struggled as a reliever with the Sox, and has been working as a starter in Triple A since July. He hasn't impressed in that role either.
Aardsma was acquired from the Cubs in November for Neal Cotts, a trade that worked out for neither team. Aardsma turns 26 in December; he's posted massive strikeout rates at both Triple A and the Majors this year. He was lights out for the Sox in April, whiffing 23 in 15.2 innings before it all fell apart. He's been closing for Charlotte. I'm surprised the Sox soured on him so easily, especially after since they've fallen out of contention.
Sisco, a southpaw, will turn 25 in January. He's among the tallest men ever to take a big league mound at 6-9. Like Masset, he failed in the Major League pen and was switched to starting this summer. His control has been a problem so far. "Wild Thing" came up in the Cubs' system, gaining notoriety when he broke his left hand punching a clubhouse wall in anger in '03. The Royals pilfered him in the Rule 5 draft in December of '04. He made the jump from A ball to the bigs in '05 and did a respectable job despite too many walks. But he bombed in '06 and the Royals saw fit to ship him to Chicago for Ross Gload.
Masset, Aardsma, and Sisco form an interesting albeit disappointing trio. I imagine many teams will be willing to take a shot on them.
The Sox were interested in Masset at least a month ago, considering trading Brian Anderson to the Rangers. Masset, a righthander, will turn 25 in May. Baseball America ranked him eighth among Ranger prospects. He had Tommy John surgery as a senior in high school, which could be viewed as a positive (given that his new tendon/ligament doesn't have a lifetime of wear and tear on it). Masset converted to relief this year and was able to dial his fastball into the high 90s. He could be yet another hard thrower in Chicago's explosive bullpen in 2007.
Danks, a southpaw, turns 22 in April. He was the Rangers' best prospect according to BA. He throws three solid pitches and has pitched well in the minors despite being young for his levels. He'll compete for the fifth spot in Chicago's rotation. He's the prize of the deal.
While B-Mac has 150 innings of Major League experience, it'd be tough to argue that he's worth as much as Danks and Masset combined. The 23 year-old was confined to the bullpen in 2006 because the Sox had no openings in the rotation. With groundball rates around 37%, McCarthy doesn't seem particularly suited for Ameriquest. He'll still be a valuable commodity if he can find a way to keep the ball in the yard. You can view my RotoAuthority projection of McCarthy as a Ranger here.
No one thought Kenny Williams would trade McCarthy, but it looks like he got an offer he couldn't refuse. You have to admire that he has a plan and he's sticking to it.
Anderson will turn 25 before next season. The former first rounder had a rough first year offensively for the Sox, but he still has the potential to be a slightly above average CF package.
Masset will also be 25 next season. A converted starter, he's pitching well in the Mexican Winter League.