Some late evening thoughts

Okay, a few more things I wanted to touch on this evening, in the aftermath of the deadline deals.

First, it is August 1...where the hell is Jason Botts?  He better be in the lineup tomorrow, or else I'm giving Ben a case of Miller High Life and a couple of Red Bulls and sending him to Jon Daniels' house.  

And with Tom Hicks now saying that he's not going to allow Sammy Sosa to be released, I expect apologies from all you poop-flinging Sosa monkey who insisted that this was a no-risk signing because if Sosa sucked and Jason Botts hit well in AAA, the team would just release Sosa and Botts would be up.

This is the worst case scenario -- and one that I feared from the time he arrived.  Sosa isn't good enough for any other team to want him, but the team doesn't have the nads to bite the bullet and let him go, so they continue to waste ABs and a roster spot on him while Jason Botts destroys AAA pitching for the third year in a row.  I told you so.

Next...if you haven't already, read zywica's post from earlier tonight.  I'll wait...

...

Okay.  Here's the importance of these Latin teenagers.  If you aren't drafting in the top several slots in the draft, it is real, real hard to draft future superstars, particularly positional players.  The players with that sort of potential are generally off the board by the time the good teams back.  So unless you plan on sucking for a while, you've got to find another way to get potential stars into your pipeline.  Going and getting raw Latin players who are a couple of years younger than American high school draftees is the obvious choice.

That's important to keep in mind when talking about draft compensation.  Jon Daniels said tonight that Elvis Andrus is a top 5 draft choice type talent, and I think he's probably spot on in that regard.  

And for those of you carping that the Rangers would have been better off taking the draft choices instead of trading Eric Gagne, consider this...Engel Beltre, if he had been in this past June's draft, probably would have been a first round choice, and probably would have been off the board by the time the Rangers picked at #17.  Given that the best the Rangers could get in compensation for Gagne is #16, that means that the Rangers got a player, in exchange for Beltre, better than any player they could have reasonably expected to get with the best draft choice they could have gotten as compensation for Gagne.  Assuming, of course, that Gagne was a Type A, as we've been assuming, and further assuming that he didn't re-sign with the Rangers, and further assuming that he didn't sign with a team that signed another Type A or that finished in the bottom half of the majors (in which case we'd get a second rounder).  

Oh, and getting Beltre instead of a 2008 draft choice also means not spending $1.2-1.6 million on a signing bonus, as well.

The Transaction Oracle likes the return the Rangers got for Teixeira, and is underwhelmed by the return for Gagne, which pretty much dovetails my reaction, as well.

Dave Cameron says the Teixeira deal was a "home run" for the Rangers, and calls the Gagne deal a win-win for both teams.

Keith Law is unimpressed with David Murphy and Kason Gabbard, but has good things to say about Beltre:

The wild card here for Texas is center fielder Engel Beltre, a 17-year-old signed for about $600,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2006. Beltre is an exciting player with a lot of ability. He has a clean swing with some loft in it, a plus arm, and he might be able to stay in center. If not, his bat will play in an outfield corner. He's playing in the Gulf Coast League at an age when most Dominican prospects are still playing in the Dominican Summer League, and he's holding his own, with five homers (tied for eighth in the league) and a .198 isolated power (10th in the league). I like the Rangers' willingness to take a short-season prospect in each of their two deals this week (pitcher Neftali Feliz was involved in the Mark Teixeira trade), knowing that contenders are nearly always willing to part with those guys to get a deal done. If this trade is going to turn out to be a win for the Rangers, it will almost certainly be because Beltre developed into the star he's capable of becoming.

The BP chat session gang o' chatters didn't care for what the Rangers got for Gagne, but really killed Brian Cashman for letting this deal happen, saying that Ian Kennedy is the type of prospect you give up to get a difference maker in a deadline deal (and to keep a rival from getting a difference maker), and Cashman's inability to differentiate between a Kennedy-level prospect and a Chamberlain means he blew it here.

Jeff Passan lists the Rangers as one of the "winners" at the trade deadline, although he suggests that it might not save Daniels' job.

I don't know if Daniels' job is really in danger, but he certainly isn't acting like it is, given the way he's targeted long-term solutions in these deals rather than short-term fixes (other than Gabbard).

I don't know how the Rangers ended up with Beau Jones thrown into the deal with the Braves, but that's a pretty sweet little trade kicker.  Jones was ranked #14 in the Braves' organization by BA coming into the season, and apparently was part of the deal because of Matt Harrison's barky shoulder.  I have to wonder if this isn't a sign that John Schuerholz isn't planning on sticking around much longer...

Although he didn't really like the Teixeira trade this much, Tim MacMahon loves the Gagne trade because the Rangers got Gabbard, who MacMahon suggests will be heading up a rotation that includes Brandon McCarthy, Kam Loe, and Eric Hurley in 2010.  

I'm still trying to figure out if he's kidding about that or not.

Kevin Sherrington has praise for the way Daniels negotiated at the deadline, and notes that even the Hicks critics will have to give him credit for the 8 year, $140 million contract extension he offered Teixeira.

What the hell is going on with Nelson Cruz?  Hot streak?  Did the light just come on all the sudden?  

And what is in the water in Oklahoma?  Is there anything the coaching staff down there can't fix?  I'm ready to start sending terminal cancer patients up there for the coaches to lay hands on, or maybe sending the Redhawk coaching staff to Baghdad and let them straighten out the Sunni/Shi'i/Kurd conflict.

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