Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Nolan Express is Back in Town

Nolan Ryan finished his playing career as a Texas Ranger.
Now he is starting a new career as the President of the same organization.
Ryan has been hired to replace former team president Jeff Cogen, who was reassigned to the same post with the Dallas Stars. Ryan will be introduced in a press conference at 3 PM today.

We will take an in depth look at the hiring later in the day.

Read the press release here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Baseball America's 2011 Projected Lineup

Baseball America recently released it's version of the Rangers' Top 10 Prospects. As a part of the write up they did their usual lineup projections for three years down the road. So, on this Super of Tuesdays, AllThingsRangers has decided to take a look at that projected lineup and compare it to what we see in the future. The lineups are composed entirely of current players and prospects so you won't find any big Free Agent signings. So here is your look at ATR's 2011 Texas Rangers. Because in Rangers Land, three years down the road is sometimes all we have.

BA's Projection: Taylor Teagarden
ATR's Projection: Taylor Teagarden

The Scoop: We agree with BA here. Teagarden's defense will keep him behind the plate, and it now appears his bat will get him into the Rangers' lineup. This is probably the trickiest projection because of Salty, Ramirez, and Teagarden all being exciting prospects. But it is Teagarden who gets the nod with superior defense and a bat that will play here.

First Base:
BA's Projection: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
ATR's Projection: Chris Davis

The Scoop: We just don't see Salty being a full time first baseman as he enters the prime of his career. Davis has the power bat to slot in perfectly at first base for the Rangers. It is hard to take Davis' arm out of play, but first base is just a natural spot for his bat and he is the type of athlete who could excel at this position for a long time.

Second Base:
BA's Projection: Michael Young
ATR's Projection: Ian Kinsler

The Scoop: Kinsler should put a death grip on second base in the 2008 season. He has the potential to become a perennial All Star at this position. If his defensive prowess in the second half of 2007 is any indication, there will be no moving Kinsler off of second base.

Third Base:
BA's Projection: Chris Davis
ATR's Projection: Michael Young

The Scoop: It would seem Young is destined to be moved to 2B or 3B within the next few years. There is the possibility he asks to be traded as the youth movement continues in Arlington, but we feel Michael Young will retire as a Texas Ranger. We have already slotted Davis across the diamond, so he isn't an option for us here. Hank Blalock, Travis Metcalf, and John Whittleman are all possibilities here as well.

BA's Projection: Elvis Andrus
ATR's Projection: Elvis Andrus

The Scoop: He may not be a great offensive player at this point in his career, but his skill set and glove will be in the starting lineup by 2011. No pressure if you're Elvis, huh?

Left Field:
BA's Projection: Engel Beltre
ATR's Projection: German Duran

The Scoop: Beltre may still be a year or two away at this point, and Duran will have trouble getting into the starting lineup in the middle infield. He has the athleticism and the bat to handle LF, though we could just as easily see him as a super sub or holding down the SS or 3B position should a prospect need more seasoning.

Center Field:
BA's Projection: Julio Borbon
ATR's Projection: Julio Borbon

The Scoop: When you sign a draft pick, especially a collegiate player, to a major league contract the idea is to get him to the big club on a fast track. Borbon has the type of athleticism and range to handle the spacious outfield in Arlington. If he develops the way the Rangers hope he does, he will be the leadoff guy they crave.

Right Field:
BA's Projection: Josh Hamilton
ATR's Projection: Josh Hamilton

The Scoop: With a little luck, Hamilton will be a cornerstone of this Rangers team. His cannon of an arm will play well in RF and his bat will be the focal point of a young lineup.

Designated Hitter:
BA's Projection: Ian Kinsler
ATR's Projection: Jarrod Saltalamacchia

The Scoop: It is unlikely Ramirez, Teagarden, and Salty will all play together but we can dream. Salty will be a legitimate power threat from both sides and provide even more depth at catcher, first base, and possibly left field.

#1 Starter:
BA's Projection: Eric Hurley
ATR's Projection: Matt Harrison

The Scoop: Harrison has a chance to be that reliable starter that goes out and gives you 6 innings every time. He will slot in here as a result of his command and Glavine-like approach.

#2 Starter:
BA's Projection: Neftali Feliz
ATR's Projection: Eric Hurley

The Scoop: We don't feel Hurley will become an ace, but we think he is more than a reliever as Keith Law would suggest.

#3 Starter:
BA's Projection: Michael Main
ATR's Projection: AJ Murray

The Scoop: Murray will provide a second left handed pitcher and be a decent third starter who can hold down the fort while Main, Beavan, Feliz, Kiker, Beau Jones, and Zach Phillips continue to mature.

#4 Starter:
BA's Projection: Blake Beavan
ATR's Projection: Michael Main

The Scoop: Both of these guys were drafted in 2007 out of high school. Main is ahead of Beavan based on his quick signing and could crack the Rangers' rotation before his counterpart.

#5 Starter:
BA's Projection: Brandon McCarthy
ATR's Projection: Blake Beavan

The Scoop: Beavan forces his way into the rotation in Spring Training and learns the ropes as a number five starter while the Rangers groom their future ace.

BA's Projection: Kasey Kiker
ATR's Proection: CJ Wilson

The Scoop: Wilson will seize the closer's job in 2008 and be a fixture at the back end of the Rangers' pen for quite some time.

Now, just to prove how much we care, we will delve into the subject a little deeper.

1B/3B/LF John Whittleman: Will find playing time backing up Young
OF Brandon Boggs: He will be a backup at all 3 OF positions and platoon some with Duran in LF
2B/SS Jose Vallejo: Slick fielding speedster will help Duran back up the middle infield and be an all world pinch runner
C/1B/DH Max Ramirez: Will serve as main backup to Teagarden, #1 pinch hitter, and platoon partner with Davis

LR Brandon McCarthy: Never finds enough durability to start, but serves as a great swingman
MR Thomas Diamond: This power pitcher finds a home in the Rangers' bullpen
MR Beau Jones: Gives the Rangers another left handed option out of the pen with the potential to move to the rotation
MR Neftali Feliz: Much like Joba with New York, he breaks in as a reliever before moving to rotation
SU Kasey Kiker: Along with CJ Wilson, is part of best left handed reliever duo in all of baseball
SU Kea Kometani: Serves as Rangers' main 8th inning arm

And for Good Measure...A projected Batting Order:
CF Julio Borbon
2B Ian Kinsler
RF Josh Hamilton
DH Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B Chris Davis
3B Michael Young
C Taylor Teagarden
LF German Duran
SS Elvis Andrus

So there you have it...a roster that will never see the field!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Item #5: Armando Galarraga to be Dealt to Tigers

There are reports out of Detroit that the Rangers are set to deal Armando Galrraga to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for minor league outfielder Michael Hernandez. Galarraga was designated for assignment to make room for Jason Jennings which gave the Rangers ten days to trade him. We had speculated it may have been part of something involving Marlon Byrd to the Cubs but it appears now it will be a prospect swap with the Tigers. The Tigers will likely assign Galarraga to AAA and use him as a spot starter and/or long reliever.

A little transitive logic now means the Rangers traded Alex Rodriguez and cash for Joaquin Arias and Michael Hernandez. Just a little fun fact.

We are currently doing some digging on Michael Hernandez to assess what he could bring to the organization. Hernandez was drafted 3 times without signing before signing with the Tigers as a result of an open tryout. He went through High-A ball at the age of 23 last year before playing his final 18 games at AA. He has played LF, RF, 1B, and been a DH. He has shown some power potential and finished 2007 with these cumulative stats:

BA: .259
OBP: .321
SLG: .477
OPS: .798
HR: 24
RBI: 106
BB: 45
SO: 117

Once this deal is finalized we will try and do a more in depth scouting report on Hernandez. Here is his Bio Page from

photo courtesy of

Item #4: And Now...The Rest of The Starting Rotation

It's time to play catch up. So, here are some abbreviated run downs on Jason Jennings, Kason Gabbard, Vicente Padilla, and Kevin Millwood.

Jason Jennings
6'2" 235 lbs
Born: 07/17/1978
Opening Day Age: 29

2007 Statistics
Games Pitched: 19 (18 starts)
Innings Pitched: 99
Record: 2-9
ERA: 6.45
Strikeouts: 71

2008 Prognosis:
Jennings is coming off an injury plagued he should fit in perfectly with the rest of the Rangers' starting rotation. Prior to his disastrous campaign in 2007, Jennings posted a sub-4 ERA in a hitter friendly park while playing for the Colorado Rockies. The Rangers are hoping he can channel his 2006 self for the 2008 Texas Rangers. When healthy, Jennings is capable of being a 200 inning workhorse. He is a Texas native with a chance to make good on a one year deal with a home state team. Jennings will likely slot in as the Rangers third starter behind Millwood and Padilla. Call me a blind optimist, but I really think Jennings is capable of being a serviceable pitcher in 2008. I would not be surprised to see him post a season similar to what John Thomson did for the Rangers in 2003. Thomson, who was 29 at the time, threw 217 innings for the Rangers and won 13 games. He didn't light the world on fire, but he ate up innings and showed up for every start. With some luck, Jennings will stay healthy and if he does that he has a good shot to replicate Thomson's 2003 campaign.

Kason Gabbard
6'3" 205 lbs
Born: 04/08/1982
Opening Day Age: 26

2007 Statistics
Games Pitched: 15 (15 starts)
Innings Pitched: 81.1
Record: 6-1
ERA: 4.65
Strikeouts: 55

2008 Prognosis:
Gabbard came over from the Boston Red Sox in the Eric Gagne trade. His season numbers were basically split between Boston and Texas. His numbers for the Rangers were not as good as they had been in Boston and he was shut down at the end of the year. One problem Gabbard had was his control as he walked 23 batters in Texas compared to 18 for Boston. He also threw 5 wild pitches after throwing none in Boston. Gabbard experienced stiffness in his arm at the end of the 2007 season, and that may have been a reason for the loss of control. There is no doubt Gabbard has a shot to be successful for the Rangers as LHPs fare better in Arlington. He invokes Kenny Rogers comparisons as a soft tossing lefty who can work the corners. If Gabbard can justify those comparisons, then the Rangers would be thrilled. This season will be very important for Gabbard as the Rangers try and assess who will be a part of their future and who is expendable. Kason will likely start the season as the Rangers number 5 starter meaning he will have plenty of time to work his arm into shape. The Rangers would love some continuity in their rotation and Gabbard has the potential to be a part of that. It is unlikely the Rangers will allow Gabbard to be overworked in 2008 as he has never had a professional season with more than 133 innings pitched. Kason will have to have a productive Spring Training as Luis Mendoza, Josh Rupe, and AJ Murray will be nipping at his heels.

Vicente Padilla
6'2" 220 lbs
Born: 09/27/1977
Opening Day Age: 30

2007 Statistics
Games Pitched: 23 (23 starts)
Innings Pitched: 120.1
Record: 6-10
ERA: 5.76
Strikeouts: 71

2008 Prognosis:
I am officially sick of watching Padilla pitch. He slows the game and puts his teammates at risk by constantly plunking the opposition. He seems unwilling to make any changes in his game and he gets paid handsomely to do all of this. This is an unfair analysis on my part because of my feelings about Padilla. My bias is oozing through the computer screen because I gave away tickets on 2 separate occasions because Padilla was slated to start. The guy pitched well in 2006. He was rewarded with a fat paycheck. It was more than he was worth, but it was the going rate for the season he had put up. I see countless articles stating that the Rangers need 15 victories out of Padilla and 200 innings. I say the only thing they need is 7-9 1st half victories (unlikely), a 1st half ERA around 4 (unlikely), a team in contention to lose a starter, and a phone call from a desperate GM. Hopefully I am wrong and Padilla comes into his own and becomes a solid #2 for the Rangers. Maybe he will get it through his thick skull and begin to earn his money. Maybe I am being unfair, and overly critical. Well, if I am then I offer my deepest apologies to Padilla. I am not wishing anything bad on Padilla or hoping he fails, I am simply begging him to quit hitting people, move a little quicker, and justify the contract he got. That's not too much to ask is it?

Kevin Millwood
6'4" 230 lbs
Born: 12/24/1974
Opening Day Age: 33

2007 Statistics
Games Pitched: 31 (31 starts)
Innings Pitched: 172.2
Record: 10-14
ERA: 5.16
Strikeouts: 123

2008 Prognosis:
My bold prediction; Kevin Millwood will be a professional and an example for the young pitchers regardless of his numbers. It seems even more unfair to follow my Padilla analysis with my Millwood analysis. Kevin Millwood is a guy I have the utmost respect for and view as a penultimate professional. It doesn't hurt that he puts out that "just one of the guys" vibe no matter what he's doing. He is a community servant and not a bad pitcher to boot. But, to be fair, he did not earn every penny of his money in 2007 either. Millwood was a big part of the disappointing showing by Rangers' pitchers in 2007 and at times looked old and out of shape. He seemed to be laboring all season long and just didn't look the part of a team's #1 starter. My budding optimism leads me to believe that this season could be a big one for Millwood. I just can't see the guy struggling the way he did in 2007 or even the way he did in 2006. I will be looking for the 2005 version of Millwood that earned him a $65 million deal with the Texas Rangers. More than anything I will be looking for Millwood to stay healthy. He has stated he has worked all offseason to get his body into shape and I believe the man. He has a chance to be a real mentor to guys like Gabbard and McCarthy to start the season. Not to mention the affect he could have on the AAA guys like Mendoza, Murray, Rupe, Hurley, and Harrison if and when they are called up. So you heard it hear first...Kevin Millwood, 2008 All Star and 18 game winner.

Now that I have completed the analysis of the Starting Rotation I fully expect Jason Jennings to get hurt in Spring Training and pitch 40 innings for the Rangers, Kason Gabbard to throw 215 innings, Vicente Padilla to win 20 games and be voted "Good Guy of the Year", Brandon McCarthy to be in the bullpen by mid season, and Kevin Millwood to go 4-21 and continually get into fights in the dugout. That is, after all, the way this whole prediction thing works out.

all photos courtesy of

Item #3: Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer

Open Letter to the New York Giants:

Dear Giants,
I know my dear sweet Dallas Cowboys should have beat you. I know it deep down in my heart. They beat you 2 out of 3 times but just couldn't get it done when it mattered. You broke my heart that fateful Sunday. You wrecked my dreams of a return to glory for the 'Boys. I hate you. I hate you so very much. With that being understood, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I thank you for what you did to everyone's golden boys. I thank you for being karma personified. I thank you, David Tyree, for catching a TD and then saving Eli's butt when he made a stupid throw. I thank you, Plaxico Burress, for juking Ellis Hobbs out of his jock for the game winning catch. I thank you, Eli Manning, for channeling your brother's poise for a few weeks. But most of all, I thank you New England Patriots for showing all of us that what goes around does in fact come around. So, you stupid lucky Giants, thank you for salvaging something from this NFL season. And in closing, thank you for the 2 lopsided victories my dear sweet Dallas Cowboys are assured of in 2008.

Item #2: Deal or No Deal? The Erik Bedard Saga

Bedard to the Bedard and Orioles talking extension....wait, Bedard to the Mariners...never mind, Adam Jones has a degenerative hip condition...Adam Jones is fine...Bedard to the Mariners...again.

Howie Mandel should have been a guest host for ESPN for the past few weeks. I could just see him interviewing Andy McPhail while Dana Jacobson held a giant briefcase with Adam Jones in it while she shouted obscenities about Notre Dame. After a lot of speculation, it appears Bedard will in fact be donning a Mariners' jersey in 2008. So one left handed ace departs the American League all together, and another one takes up residency in the Rangers' division. You can't win them all.

The proposed deal would send uber-prospect Adam Jones to the O's along with reliever Goerge Sherrill and 3 other pitching
prospects. Some would argue this deal is a better return than the Twins got for Santana based solely on Jones. He is a big time outfield prospect with plus defense and definite power potential. Sherrill is a capable left handed bullpen arm, while the 3 other prospects will need more seasoning in the minor leagues. Seattle will be able to complete the deal without surrendering Brandon Morrow or Catcher Jeff Clement, two of the Mariners other top young players.

The deal will allow the Mariners to pair Bedard with "King" Felix Hernandez at the top of their rotation. The two strikeout pitchers give the M's a formidable 1-2 punch with Carlos Silva (overpaid, overweight guy), Jarrod Washburn, and Miguel Batista rounding out the rotation. There is some risk involved for the Mariners as Bedard has struggled to complete a full season and has never pitched 200 innings. Bedard is, however, one of the top pitchers in the game and will make a big impact on the AL West in 2008 and beyond.

The Chicago Cubs lost out on Bedard to a team that just flat out has superior prospects at the positions the Orioles desired. The Rangers expressed interest in Bedard right out of the gate but were told they didn't have the necessary pieces. The Orioles were presumably dead set on a top flight outfield prospect near the major league level. The Rangers just don't have that in place with Beltre, Borbon, and Boggs a year or more away. Josh Hamilton might have intrigued the Orioles but it likely would have cost one of Eric Hurley, Matt Harrison, or Kasey Kiker along with a bullpen arm and other prospects. The cost seemingly would have exceeded the value for a Rangers team that is undergoing a rebuilding process.

In other Mariners' news, they have reached an agreement with the one and only Brad Wilkerson. So while the arrival of Bedard will likely result in some strikeouts for Rangers' hitters, at least Rangers' pitchers can pocket a few K's with Wilkerson in the fold for the Mariners.

howie mandel photo courtesy of
george sherrill, adam jones photos courtesy of
erik bedard photo courtesy of

Item #1: The Johan Santana Deal

Thank the good Lord...Johan Santana is out of the American League!! Of course, the Rangers still have a weekend series against his new team June 13-15, but the man who needed only 15 IP last year to strikeout 30 Texas Rangers is now in the land of no DH's. Johan Santana, after months of rumors, was dealt to the New York Mets.

The Twins received OF prospect Carlos Gomez along with 3 pitchers in return. There was no Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Jacoby Ellsbury, or Jon Lester involved but the Twins did get Johan out of the AL while adding to a stable of young arms and filling a void in CF. Johan then reached a contract extension with the Mets for a gazillion dollars. If, by chance, you are interested in the actual figures you can find them here. The two best parts about this trade for me are the fact Santana will not be anchoring the Red Sox or Yankees rotations for years to come and the fact that Johan Santana will get to bat in the NL. The deal has been met with some skepticism, but the Twins did what they had to do knowing they could not afford Santana any longer.

Carlos Gomez, a speedy centerfielder, was not the Mets top OF prospect (that title belongs to Fernando Martinez) but he brings tons of speed to the top of the Twins lineup and helps make up for the loss of Torii Hunter via free agency. The three pitchers will most likely never be Santana, but they add to the Twins abundance of young arms. The Twins dealt from that surplus earlier in the off season when they landed themselves a guy they hope will be a cornerstone in their OF for years by trading SP Matt Garza to Tampa Bay for OF Delmon Young. The youngest of the three pitchers the Twins received, Deolis Guerra, has a chance to be a big time major league pitcher but he is years away. There is no doubt the Mets made a great deal and have infused life back into a team that collapsed at the end of the 2007 season. With the Phillies and Braves set to be strong clubs again and the Marlins and Nationals improving, this deal could catapult the Mets to the front of the NL East and perhaps the top of the entire National League.

One thing is for sure thought; Johan Santana won't be striking out 30 Rangers next year...I mean he can't pitch 10 perfect innings in one game...can he?

johan santana twins photo courtesy of AP
johan santana roster photo courtesy of
carlos gomez photo courtesy of

AllThingsRangers' Super Monday

There is a slew of things coming in the next 24 hours for AllThingsRangers. Some unavoidable circumstances have left the blog empty for the past week, but fear no more for today is the triumphant return. We'll talk Santana, Bedard, 40-man Breakdowns, the Super Bowl, Rangers Prospects, and much more over the next 24 hours. So sit back, put on your reading glasses, and enjoy our pre-Super Sunday...Super Monday. Let the madness begin.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Could Orioles be Key to Marlon Byrd deal?

The Baltimore Orioles are in serious talks with the Seattle Mariners about a trade that would send Erik Bedard to Seattle with future stud Adam Jones coming back to Baltimore, among others. Jon Heyman, of believes that if the Bedard to Seattle deal goes through the Orioles next move would likely be to deal Brian Roberts to the Cubs, possibly for Felix Pie and Sean Gallagher.

What does all this have to do with the Rangers? If Felix Pie is no longer a Cub, then CF becomes an even bigger position of need in Chicago. Their only internal option would be to move Kosuke Fukudome to CF and have Matt Murton and former Ranger Mark DeRosa man the corner OF spots. It is more likely they would pursue a CF, possibly dangling Murton, and let DeRosa get a lot of his at bats in LF and at SS. With Chicago already rumored to be interested in Byrd and Armando Galarraga hanging in limbo here in Arlington, it seems that if the dominoes start to fall there could be a move by the Rangers. We have already looked at the possible scenarios for a Byrd to Chicago move, but apparently Sean Gallagher would be out of the picture. This could leave the Rangers to go after Matt Murton, Sean Marshall, and a low level minor leaguer for Marlon Byrd and Armando Galarraga. The big key for the Rangers is that the other two deals (Bedard to Seattle, Roberts to Chicago) be done before Galarraga has to be placed on waivers.

After a lot of debate over the value of Byrd to the Cubs and the overall value of Matt Murton, if Felix Pie was moved it would leave Jon Daniels with the upper hand. Free agent options for the Cubs would have to center on Corey Patterson, who came up with the Cubs earlier in his career. For all Marlon Byrd isn't, he is a much more viable option in CF than Corey Patterson. The Cubs also have the veterans on board to be able to absorb a possible loss of both Sean Gallagher and Sean Marshall. However, it would mean placing a lot of trust in Jon Lieber, Ryan Dempster, and Jason Marquis to adequately hold down the 4 and 5 spots in the rotation all season. It would also mean the Cubs would have to hope that Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, and Rich Hill can stay relatively healthy as the Cubs would be void of some depth in the rotation (though they could conceivably have Armando Galarraga).

So, just for the sake of playing fantasy GM and assuming Bedard and Roberts are both dealt with enough time left for Galarraga to be part of a deal, here is a possible deal for the Rangers and Cubs to make.

-The two principal pieces for the Rangers would be Marlon Byrd and Armando Galarraga.
-The two principal pieces for the Cubs would be Matt Murton and Sean Marshall.
-The last part of the trade would be a prospect swap. This is where the Rangers would need to capitalize on the Cubs' potential need for a CF. The Rangers need some LHP depth added to the system with Matt Harrison getting lonely. Guys like Zach Phillips and Beau Jones have potential, but there is a need to add to the number of lefties. On this front, I see two potential targets for the Rangers. The first, and more feasible, would be James Russell. Russell was selected in the 2007 draft and so would have to be made available as a PTBNL since he cannot be traded yet. Russell has two things going for him aside from his pitching abilities. He is the son of former Rangers' closer, Jeff Russell. Secondly, he was drafted out of the University of Texas which would definitely make Tom Hicks happy. Russell is a big lefty, at 6'4" and projects as a guy who could start or pitch out of the bullpen. The Rangers would have to determine a low level minor leaguer to send back, possibly one of the 3 catchers on Spokane's roster not named Cristian Santana. If the Rangers were willing to up the level of the prospect they send to the Cubs, then a prime target would be AA LHP, Donald Veal. Veal is another big guy at 6'4" and 215 pounds. He is a former 2nd round pick who blew through both levels of single A and spent 2007 having an up and down year for the AA Tennessee Smokies. You can read a story about Veal here. Veal is a guy the Rangers would have to get creative to get and use a guy like Joaquin Arias along with someone who would satisfy a need for the Cubs like Wes Littleton or Scott Feldman. Someone call Hendry and tell him he needs Feldman.

For now, Jon Daniels and the rest of the Rangers front office will just have to wait for the Baltimore Orioles.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Armando Galarraga DFA'd

Okay, timeout. I am reading over this and realizing maybe I am overreacting. Galarraga is a 26 year old who hasn't had great minor league numbers and was a forgotten prospect until he showed up in Arlington. And the guy who took his 40-man spot, Jason Jennings, is only 29 (with more wear on his arm). Read through my first post and let me know if I have overreacted because I feel like maybe I have. Or maybe I just really don't see Scott Feldman ever helping this club, thereby making him the obvious choice in this whole thing.


Armando Galarraga was DFA'd yesterday to make room for Jason Jennings. If he does not clear waivers, then this sums up a recent string of events:

1.) Alex Rodriguez and Cash traded for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias
2.) Alfonso Soriano traded for Brad Wilkerson, Armando Galarraga, and Termell Sledge
3.) Sledge part of the trade we do not speak of
4.) Brad Wilkerson becomes FA...thank the good Lord
5.) Galarraga DFA'd

They now have ten days to trade, release, or put him on waivers. It could be they already have a deal involving Galarraga in place because that is the only good reason Scott Feldman is still in a Rangers uniform. Maybe we see a Byrd + Galarraga deal with the Cubs. There is no telling but if this is the totality of the move, then this JD backer will have to rethink his allegiances. I'm not saying Galarraga is a world beater, but he is a young starting pitcher with some ability. Of course, Galarraga could harmlessly pass through waivers a la Shelton, but that seems somewhat unlikely.

It's not so much Galarraga that is confusing people as it is the fact Scott Feldman is still here. Feldman's WHIP was just south of 2 last year. He has looked absolutely horrible more often than not and he is a player who is part of an already overcrowded bullpen. You could make an argument for Cruz as well with the outfield pretty full and his past performance. Same for Tejeda along the lines of past performances. But at least Tejeda and Cruz have talent that is clearly visible. Cruz can mash (when he actually connects with a ball) and has a cannon for a right arm. Tejeda has an arm that is above average and has shown flashes. Feldman just doesn't seem like all that much and is a guy with a better chance at clearing waivers than Galarraga anyway. Not to mention he even punches sidearm. Who punches sidearm?

This reeks of there being a deal in place for Galarraga already, and there's a good chance it's starting to smell in Chicago as well. Or perhaps the smell is emanating from the Rangers' front office because if this is a singular move then they are all full of it.

More on this as it develops.

(You like how I used a nice little journalistic phrase there at the end? I thought you might.)

*Just below this post AllThingsRangers covers Robert Earl Keen AND Brandon McCarthy in the SAME POST. If you can't believe it just keep reading and be amazed!*

armando galarraga photo courtesy of
scott feldman punching like a girl photo courtesy of

Breaking Down The 40-Man Roster Day 4

Robert Earl Keen put on a great show. I could have done without all of the Texas A&M references, but I guess a successful Aggie has to allow all the other ones to live vicariously through him. You know you liked that one Aggie alums. He did end his set by playing "The Road Goes on Forever" as usual and it was just as good this time as it has been the previous three times I've seen him. So, my apologies to B-Mac as I am sure he has been on edge since learning he was next up in line. But you can't honestly expect me to turn down a free Robert Earl Keen ticket, can you? Have no fear though, I abstained from all things (well most things) alcoholic so I could wake up early and pass this along to all you Rangers fans and especially you Brandon.

Brandon McCarthy
6'7" 200 lbs
Born: 07/07/1983
Opening Day Age: 25

2007 Statistics
Games Pitched: 23 (22 starts)
Innings Pitched: 101.2
Record: 5-10
ERA: 4.87
Strikeouts: 59

2008 Prognosis:
A few years ago, the Rangers had three "phenoms" stashed in the minor leagues. The "DVD" trio, as they would come to be called was a reason to be excited about the future of the Rangers' pitching staff. Fast forward and one is in a White Sox uniform, another in a Cincinnati Reds uniform, and the last is coming off of Tommy John surgery and will likely start the season at AAA Oklahoma. John Danks was the one traded to the White Sox, and Brandon McCarthy was the return. There were three other players in the deal, but these two could be forever linked. Danks was the pride of the system to the extent it was rumored the Rangers were unwilling to deal him in a proposed move for Josh Beckett. That could, like many other rumors, be nowhere near the truth but it is food for thought. Also of intrigue was the stated reason for moving Danks was McCarthy was a proven major league arm and Danks was still a year or two away. Well Danks went in and won a spot in the White Sox rotation right out of Spring Training which pretty much crushed that argument. So, with that out the window, the argument came down to numbers.

Last year played out differently than many hoped (both White Sox and Rangers fans) and the argument could have shifted to who was worse (same argument, but you get the gist of what's being said). Danks posted a 5.50 ERA in 26 starts, but looked promising in stretches. McCarthy tossed up a 4.87 ERA in 22 starts, but looked promising in stretches. McCarthy also looked injured in stretches, and in fact made several appearances on the Rangers' injury report. These are the injuries listed for McCarthy during the 2007 season.

Oct 1, 2007: Missed the last 9 games of the regular season (forearm injury).
Sep 24, 2007: Forearm injury, day-to-day.
Sep 11, 2007: Missed 27 games (shoulder injury).
Aug 15, 2007: Shoulder injury, 15-day DL (retroactive to Aug. 11th).
Jul 2, 2007: Missed 17 games (right finger injury).
Jun 14, 2007: Right finger injury, 15-day DL (retroactive to June 10th).
Jun 13, 2007: Right finger injury, day-to-day.
Jun 9, 2007: Missed 11 games (finger injury).
May 2, 2007: Finger injury, day-to-day.

The blister was an obvious problem and one that is pretty hard to avoid. The Rangers probably mishandled the finger injury as an earlier stint on the DL could have saved McCarthy some poor outings and some spot starts he missed. Hard to find fault though because a blister is just a finicky thing to handle, especially when a pitcher throws a lot of curveballs as McCarthy does. By all accounts, the shoulder and forearm injuries are not lingering, but time will tell whether injuries will be a recurring theme throughout McCarthy's career. He was never really able to get into any kind of a rhythm outside of a 4 game stretch and his season was really a wash, as is the trade to this point. At 6'7" and only 200 pounds (if that) it seems as though a full season of starting will continue to take it's toll on him. Whether he can ever be at or around 200 innings for a season is a question that the Rangers front office needs to answer.

Now for the good on B-Mac. This kid looked great for a stretch in 2007. He was the best pitcher on the staff (that's kind of a complement) for a three week period. He has the ability to throw three pitches for strikes consistently with his 2 seam and 4 seam fastballs and his curveball. He throws a changeup as well but not with the control of the other three. After seeing him pitch in 2007, he looks like he is a major league pitcher. If he can stave off injuries and perhaps add some bulk or at least get after it with a strength and conditioning coach, he has a chance to be a very solid starter. Also, if he can develop a solid changeup, he could easily win 14-17 games with adequate run support. He may not ever be a number one or two pitcher, but he would slot in wonderfully as a team's number 3 starter.

The bottom line on McCarthy is health and confidence. If he can stay healthy and get into a rhythm he has a chance to do some great things in 2008. My hope for his season is simply showing he can do it for the long haul. I have no doubt he can get it done in spurts, but that doesn't help anyone. The Rangers' starters have to get deeper into ball games this year and B-Mac is a big part of that. At just 25, he is a key cog in the Rangers' plans going forward and the team's success is predicated on McCarthy developing into a consistent starting pitcher.

The post on Jason Jennings will show up later today or sometime on Sunday. I like to keep 'em guessing, plus I heard Jennings doesn't read my blog anyway so I don't feel like I'll be disappointing anyone this time.

brandon mccarthy photos courtesy of
robert earl keen picture courtesy of texas_mustang

Friday, January 25, 2008

Robert Earl Keen Trumps Brandon McCarthy

I didn't feel so hot today but I was just about to tough it out and write the Brandon McCarthy post when I received an interesting offer. My buddy had an extra ticket to a Robert Earl Keen concert tonight at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth. Unfortunately for Brandon McCarthy, that means no post on him. To make up for it we'll either do a 2-for-1 tomorrow or a special Sunday post. I'm not sure yet, but it will all get worked out. So enjoy your weekend, grab a cold one, and throw on some Robert Earl.

"The Road goes on forever and the party never ends."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Shelton Clears Waivers and Spring Training Invites

Chris Shelton, whom the Rangers designated for assignment when they added Fukumori to the roster, has cleared waivers. The Rangers have out righted him to AAA Oklahoma and invited him to big league training camp. This means the Rangers can keep Shelton around as insurance at both 1B and DH.

Along with Shelton, here is a list of players who are not on the 40-man Roster but have received invites to big league camp:

SS Elvis Andrus
1B/3B Chris Davis
2B/SS/3B German Duran
1B Nate Gold
RHP Eric Hurley
RHP Paul Kometani
RF John Mayberry Jr.
C Chris Stewart
C Taylor Teagarden

"All Things Rangers" will take a more in depth look at some of these players in the near future. Make sure to check in tomorrow for the Brandon McCarthy post.

My Top 26 Rangers' Prospect Rankings 26-21

I have been working on this list for a long time now. Not quite as long as it's been since the Rangers went to the playoffs. Not quite as long as it's been since a homegrown starting pitcher has done anything of note at the major league level. Not quite as long as it's been since Juan Gonzalez, Pudge Rodriguez, Ruben Sierra, Dean Palmer, Kenny Rogers and Kevin Brown came bursting onto the scene. No, I haven't been working on it quite that long. But I've been working on it for a while.

It's always interesting to see someone's prospect rankings. Different people use different criteria. Some people favor how close a player is to the major league level. Some people are in love with power prospects, both on the mound and at the plate. Some people are impressed with physical prowess. Some people draw names out of a hat. There are just so many factors that play into trying to predict the unpredictable. But, for some reason, tons of people still try and do it. And, for now, I am one of those people.

So here is the first part of "All Things Rangers' 2008 Prospect Rankings"

26.) RHP Paul "Kea" Kometani: He went through AA at an advanced age last year, and his numbers don't look great at first glance. But, the key in his development was his move to the closer's role. Kometani flashed great poise out of the pen as the season wore on. His strong showing in the Winter Arizona Fall League helped reinforce what was seen in Frisco. At 25 years old, he should start the season at AAA Oklahoma and perhaps move into the pen for the big club late in the season.
Est. Arrival Time: 2009

25.) RF/1B John Mayberry, Jr.: Drafted in 2005 ahead of Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza, and Colby Rasmus, Mayberry, Jr. has disappointed thus far. He has shown that he has major league power potential, but his contact rate and plate discipline have not improved. He hit 30 home runs between Hi-A Bakersfield and AA Frisco last year. But he also compiled a .235 BA and a .311 OBP. Mayberry plays an acceptable RF but may benefit from a move to 1B depending on the organization's plans for Chris Davis. Mayberry's power alone will not carry him to the major leagues and this year will be a pivotal one for him. If all goes well, Mayberry will spend the last part of this season at AAA Oklahoma.
Est. Arrival Time: 2010

24.) RHP Josh Rupe: It doesn't seem like he should be a "prospect" anymore as he spent parts of 2005 and 2006 with the Rangers. But, an injury in 2007 kept him from continuing his progress and he comes into Spring Training as a bit of an enigma. Rupe was a candidate for the fifth starter in 2007, but the 2008 rotation looks to be tentatively set. Rupe has also pitched out of the pen for the Rangers. He has a shot to make the big club out of Spring Training with a solid showing. If he doesn't he will probably move to Oklahoma's bullpen and be one of the first call ups of the year for the Rangers.
Est. Arrival Time: 2008

23.) 3B John Whittleman: Some people have up and down seasons. John Whittleman had an up, then down 2007 season. He was tearing up MWL pitching for the first half of the season. He was getting on base nearly every game and stroking the ball to all fields. Then, he met what most people call "the wall." Whittleman's number's declined and he hit only .240 after his promotion to Hi-A Bakersfield. Whittleman will have two things to focus on this year. He has committed 34 errors in each of his first 2 full league seasons. And, his endurance waned at the end of last year. At 20 years of age, Whittleman has time to mature. He could finish the season at AA Frisco with a big year.
Est. Arrival Time: 2010

22.) RHP Luis Mendoza: What a gem of a deal the Bryan Corey trade is turning out to be. Jon Daniels and co. plucked this pitcher out of Boston's system and it has clearly worked in the Rangers' favor thus far. Mendoza started the season at AA Frisco and put together a 15-4 record before being called straight to Arlington. Mendoza then put on 6 strong performances for the big club and picked up his first major league win. Mendoza got better as the year went on and the wins piled up. At 24, he has matured into what you might call "a gamer." When he steps on the mound all he does is win. The Rangers hope he continues to "just win" and becomes a solid starter for the major league club. Mendoza will likely start the year in the Rangers' bullpen or the RedHawks rotation. It would probably be best for him to continue starting games and start the year at AAA. He will definitely be back in Arlington, barring injury, at some point in the 2008 season.
Est. Arrival Time: 2008

21.) RHP Tommy Hunter: Apparently the Rangers were looking for a middle linebacker when they selected Tommy Hunter from Alabama. Hunter is 6'3" and 255 pounds and put together a nice 17 inning run for Short Season Spokane. By all accounts, the Rangers envision Hunter as a future closer, or at least bullpen arm. He doesn't deal fire like you might think, but he is a smart pitcher likely to progress quickly through the Rangers system. Look for him to hit both levels of A ball this year as he continues to learn how to become a major league closer.
Est. Arrival Time: 2010

Look for numbers 20-16 sometime in the next few days.

tommy hunter photo courtesy of
luis mendoza and josh rupe photos courtesy of
all other photos courtesy of

Breaking Down The 40-Man Roster Day 3

It's amazing what a night of sleep and a bottle of Pepto Bismol can do. I'm not quite back to 100%, but I think I can manage to get this done. Consider me like Milton Bradley; I may not be able to go play the outfield just yet, but you can pencil me into the lineup at DH. So, as promised, here is today's 2-for-1.

CJ Wilson
6'1" 215 lbs
Born: 11/18/1980
Opening Day Age: 27

2007 Statistics

Games Pitched: 66
Innings Pitched: 68.1
Record: 2-1
ERA: 3.03
Strikeouts: 63
Saves: 12

2008 Prognosis:
At the age of 21, after conquering Rookie Ball and both levels of Single-A, CJ Wilson finished the 2002 season at Double-A Tulsa. He started 5 games and went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA. At that time, Wilson looked destined to finish the 2003 season at Triple-A and break into the big leagues at some point during the 2004 season. His 2003 season wasn't quite what the Rangers or he had hoped for, and got even worse when he had Tommy John surgery on August 12, 2003. CJ returned in 2005 and was called up from Double-A Frisco and into the Rangers' starting rotation. As a starter, CJ struggled mightily. His ERA was astronomical and his future looked to be in doubt. But, a decision to keep CJ at the big league level and move him to the bullpen revived his career. In 18 games out of the Rangers' pen in 2005, CJ went 1-2 with a 2.73 ERA. After a decent 2006 campaign and a great 2007 season, CJ is now one of the focal points of that bullpen.

CJ goes into the season as the odds on favorite to win the vacant closer's job. He handled the bulk of that duty following the trade of Eric Gagne last season and his poise and attitude have led many to believe he will be the Rangers' closer for a long time. CJ is a captivating pitcher and person that has become a huge fan favorite in Arlington. There has been some sentiment among those fans that the Rangers should try CJ in the rotation again now that he has become a major league success. It is the same kind of discussion that has been heard in Boston regarding their young closer Jonathan Papelbon. At this point, however, it appears the rotation will be the fall back option for the Rangers and CJ. All signs indicate that CJ will be the closer as long as he performs well in that capacity. And hopefully, for the Rangers, that will be a long time.

CJ may also play a huge role for the Rangers in another capacity. Many Rangers fans have heard the stories on CJ and his personal philosophies. Wilson is a Taoist and adheres to what is known as a "Straight-Edge" way of life. You can read more about the lifestyle here. Basically, "Straight-Edge" means CJ doesn't indulge in alcohol, smoking, or drugs. Most fans have also heard the stories on new Ranger, Josh Hamilton. A big part of Hamilton's success in Cincinnati was due to the strong support system they had in place. In fact, it was such a big part the Rangers have since hired Johnny Narron who spent last year with the Reds organization helping Hamilton. Well, the Rangers may also have a key to Hamilton's new support system in place in the form of CJ Wilson. At the very least, it can't hurt for Hamilton to spend as much time as possible with CJ. And hopefully those two spend a long time together as key cogs for the Texas Rangers.

Check out CJ's blog by clicking the link on the sidebar, or just clicking here.

今それはテキサス・レンジャーズで最も新しい水差しの1 つ、前の日本リーグ水差しKazuo Fukumori に動く時間である。
(Translation: "Now it is time to move onto one of the Texas Rangers' newest pitchers, former Japanese League pitcher Kazuo Fukumori.")

Kazuo Fukumori
5'11" 170 lbs
Born: 08/04/1976
Opening Day Age: 31

2007 Statistics
Games Pitched: 34
Innings Pitched: 36
Record: 4-2
ERA: 4.75
Strikeouts: 33
Saves: 17
*all stats from 2007 season spent pitching in Japanese League*

2008 Prognosis:
Naturally, it is hard to project what to expect from Fukumori in 2008. He spent the latter half of last season rehabbing his elbow after having surgery to remove bone chips. Apparently, his elbow is not in as bad of shape as Akinori Otsuka's elbow. Otsuka was let go by the Rangers after the White Sox turned down a trade upon reviewing his medical records. It has since been reported that Otsuka will require Tommy John surgery. Fukumori's elbow condition is not nearly as serious and he should be ready to go for Spring Training. According to Rangers' GM Jon Daniels, "He only took four to six weeks off and was throwing again. It was a very minor procedure."

According to scouting reports, Fukumori features a fastball that comes in at anywhere from 86-90mph. It will be interesting to see exactly how accurate those velocity reports are in Spring Trainings, especially considering his elbow surgery. He also throws an average to below average curveball that he has had control problems with in the past. His go to pitch appears to be his forkball or split-finger, whichever one you want to call it. It is said to have great diving action and cause a lot of hitters to chase. There have also been reports that Fukumori has experimented with a knuckle-curveball to complement his other 3 pitches. The biggest concerns with Fukumori have been control and consistency. He sometimes elevates his fastball or gets lazy and flattens it out. He is also said to have trouble throwing his curveball for strikes when he needs to. His consistency has been a question mark as well. In the Japanese leagues he was either magnificent or terrible. Kaz will have to find some level of consistency if he wants to succeed with the Rangers.

Fukumori will likely be eased into the Rangers' pen and used in the 6th, 7th, and perhaps 8th innings. He hasn't thrown more than 63 innings in any of his previous 5 seasons, so the Rangers would be wise not to use him in a Willie Eyre mode. It is likely the Rangers will use Benoit and Wilson as their 8th and 9th inning combo as much as they can. This will allow Fukumori and Guardado to help handle the 6th and 7th innings based on the opponents lineup. It would be fantastic if Kazuo can pitch around 60 innings with an ERA at or below three. That kind of season would do wonders for the bullpen. The pen was a strength last year, but there is no component of a baseball team that shifts more on a year to year basis than the bullpen.

"What really stood out to us about Kaz is makeup," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "We feel he has the right temperament, the right character to succeed. He's got the traits we look for, guys that want the ball, guys that are not afraid, guys that throw strikes and attack the zone."

Well if that is the case, then テキサスの氏へのFukumori 歓迎。(Translation: Welcome to Texas Mr. Fukumori.)

Tomorrow's breakdown post will feature SP Brandon McCarthy.

all photos courtesy of

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'm Sorry CJ

Well, I spent the majority of the day hugging the toilet, sitting at the doctor's office, and hanging out at Walgreen's.
I just woke up from a drug induced coma and realized I had completely forsaken CJ Wilson. So tomorrow, it will be a 2-for-1. Both CJ and Kazuo Fukumori will get their moments in the sun. Also, we might have JD's responses to Tim Dierkes and perhaps a look at some minor leaguers. But, I'm not going to promise anything because I could be hanging out with the toilet again tomorrow.

photo courtesy of

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Questions For Jon Daniels

Tim Dierkes, author of "MLBTradeRumors" will be having a Q and A with Rangers GM Jon Daniels. He has asked for possible questions for JD from the readers. If you have a pressing question, head on over to the link below and pose your question.

Questions for JD at MLBTradeRumors

Breaking Down The 40-Man Roster Day 2

We continue with the roster breakdown with a look at our 2nd reliever. A strength of last year's club, the bullpen lost Eric Gagne, Akinori Otsuka, Ron Mahay, and Willie Eyre. The Rangers made two signings to help reinforce the pen and maintain the strength of the club. So here is a look at one of those two signings.

Eddie Guardado
6'0" 225 lbs
Born: 10/02/1970
Opening Day Age: 37

2007 Statistics
Games Pitched: 15
Innings Pitched: 13.2
Record: 0-0
ERA: 7.24
Strikeouts: 8

2008 Prognosis:
In 2003 the Rangers added a 32 year-old, left handed relief pitcher to their team. He was coming off a season in which he pitched 14.2 innings and compiled an 8.59 ERA. In four and a half seasons in Texas' bullpen, this pitcher threw 244 innings and compiled a 3.65 ERA. Ron Mahay (the pitcher just alluded to if you didn't know) was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with Mark Teixeira for 5 Braves prospects. He recently signed with the Kansas City Royals and will turn 37 in June of 2008. Over the same time period, Eddie Guardado has pitched 217.2 innings and compiled a 3.27 ERA. Eddie Guardado is not the same pitcher that saved 140 games for the Twins and Mariners from 2002-2005. However, he is a LHP who has limited lefties to a .631 OPS over the course of his career. He can be the LHP out of the bullpen the Rangers lost when they shipped Mahay out last year. He can also shoulder some of CJ WIlson's former duties should CJ win the closer's job. Guardado also has the ability to fill in as a closer in case of injury or poor performance. The signing of Guardado will also allow the Rangers to get another look at A.J. Murray in a SP role. Murray might have been forced to the pen if the Rangers were short a LHP. The Guardado signing will likely allow Murray to start the year at AAA and allow the Rangers to get a better idea of A.J.'s future role with the club. This seems like the classic "aging, injured veteran" signing that Rangers' fans have become accustomed to. However, this low risk move allows a number of other things to fall into place. There is also the chance Guardado becomes a trading chip a la Eric Gagne in 2007. At the very least "Everday" Eddie should be a good mentor for bullpen arms like CJ Wilson, Joaquin Benoit, and Japanese import Kazuo Fukumori. So welcome to the club Mr. Guardado and feel free to conjure up the 2002-2005 version of yourself at any time.

Tomorrow's "Breakdown" post will feature the one and only CJ Wilson.

photo courtesy of

Monday, January 21, 2008

Marlon Byrd Rumors

One of the few things Rangers' fans really got into last year was Marlon Byrd. He came to Spring Training a relative unknown following disappointing runs with the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals. After being assigned to AAA Oklahoma out of Spring Training, Marlon proceeded to tear up PCL pitching to the tune of a .983 OPS in 44 games. Byrd earned his call up to the Big Club on May 26, 2007 and wasted no time showing management and fans that he had no intentions of returning to Oklahoma. His hustle, clutch hitting, and last name made him an immediate fan favorite. It wasn't long before fans were flapping their arms like birds every time Marlon came to the plate. This Winter, Byrd agreed to a one year, $1.8 million contract for the 2008 season which allowed him and the Rangers to avoid arbitration.

Now the out of nowhere, fan favorite is the subject of trade rumors involving the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have already made their big off season splash with the signing of Japanese right fielder Kosuke Fukudome. It looked like they might make an even bigger splash when rumors circulated about a huge deal that would have netted the Cubs both Brian Roberts and Erik Bedard of the Baltimore Orioles. With that rumor seeming more and more unlikely, it now appears the Cubs have turned their attention to finding a platoon partner for Felix Pie in CF.

This is where the Rangers and Cubs become possible trading partners. Felix Pie, the Cubs 22 year old CF, struggles mightily against LHP (he hasn't done too great against RHP either in his brief Major League appearances). So, the Cubs are now searching high and low for someone who can platoon with Pie and fill the 4th OF role. Their in house options lack experience (Sam Fuld) and versatility (Matt Murton). Byrd's value lies in his right handed bat, his ability to play all 3 OF positions, and his career year in 2007. The Cubs have also had success with former Rangers coming off of career years with the ability to play multiple positions. Mark DeRosa has quickly become a fan favorite in the Windy City just as Marlon Byrd has in Arlington. But now for the most important question to Rangers fans.

What's in it for the Rangers?

Matt Murton: The 26 year old has decent OBP potential, but lacks the power you would like out of a corner outfield spot. He also is below average in RF and really his defense only plays in LF. A new luxury the Rangers have, however, is an above average offensive CF in Josh Hamilton which might have them willing to take on Murton despite his perceived lack of power.

Ryan Dempster, Jason Marquis: At this point, neither one of these guys is an upgrade in the bullpen or the rotation and it would seem they have no real value to the Rangers.

Sean Marshall, Sean Gallagher: Marshall, 25, is a LHP who might be intriguing as an option for one of the last two spots in the rotation that look like they will go to Brandon McCarthy and Kason Gabbard. He isn't going to blow anyone away, but he has good control and a 6'7" frame to work with. Gallagher, 22, is unlikely to be dealt by the Cubs in a move for Byrd alone. He could be stashed in Oklahoma by the Rangers and added to their stable of young arms. If either one of these guys is offered for Byrd alone, one would have to think Jon Daniels would waste no time getting the deal done.

Bottom Line:
There is a reason Marlon Byrd was so popular with the fans, players, and management in 2007. He plays the game the way it should be played. Marlon is a walking cliche in that he goes 110% all of the time. It would be a hard pill to swallow for fans and players alike, but it would also be a prime example of selling high. I, for one, would hang on to Byrd if Matt Murton was the only return. And Ryan Dempster or Jason Marquis would garner no interest for me. But if the Cubs were to offer Marshall or Gallagher, it would be near impossible to say no to. Both of these guys are young, capable arms the Rangers would be lucky to have. This should either get done or die down within the next week or two so now it's just a waiting game to see if JD can squeeze an arm away from Chicago.

marlon byrd photo courtesy of
all other photos courtesy of