As ortonius noted in the diaries, Adam Eaton has already made it clear he's not too interested in staying in Texas past 2006:
"It's not conducive to my style of pitching; I'm a fly-ball pitcher," [Eaton] said. "If I was to stay there, it'd have to be for crazy money."
So chances are, Eaton is here for no more than a season.
As is Otsuka, apparently, as Kathleen O'Brien reports that Otsuka is a free agent after 2006.
So, we're giving up Adrian Gonzalez, Chris Young, and Terrmel Sledge, and there's a real good chance we'll have nothing to show for it after 2006 except a catcher in A-ball.
Update [2005-12-21 2:53:11 by Adam J. Morris]: -- Well, O'Brien's article has been updated and expanded, but it no longer mentions Otsuka being a free agent after 2006. Otsuka only has two years of service time, so he normally would be arbitration-eligible after 2006, unless, like Hideki Matsui, he had a deal where he would be non-tendered rather than offered arbitration after his initial deal was up. Since that tidbit has been removed, I'll assume that Otsuka isn't going to be a free agent after 2006. (END UPDATE)
Tim Cowlishaw is extremely critical of the deal, and takes Daniels to task:
We are in the middle of Jon Daniels' first off-season as general manager and I have no idea where we are going.
Right now, it's a little like the wedding scene from The Deer Hunter . It's dragging on forever, it's not what I want to see and there just has to be some better stuff ahead, so let's get on with it.
Adam Eaton, who had a 4.27 ERA and played his home games in pitcher-friendly San Diego, is the newest "ace." Chris Young, who had a 4.26 ERA and played home games in hitter-friendly Arlington, is gone.
And so is Adrian Gonzalez, one of the club's top hitting prospects, a former No. 1 overall draft pick who is only 23. And so is Termell Sledge, whom we really didn't get to know after his arrival here from Washington in the Alfonso Soriano deal two weeks ago.
But also coming to town is Akinori Otsuka, a Japanese reliever who turns 34 in January and had a 6.92 ERA and 0-8 record on the road for the Padres last year, so he should be a nice fit.
* * *
Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot not to recommend about Eaton right now. For one thing, if he has a really good season, he can use free agency to get out of town in 2007.
But that's the least of the worries from here. If you remove pitchers faced from the equation, Eaton had a 4.60 ERA last year. Bring that to Arlington and adjust for designated hitters and parks, and what do you get - about 5.50?
He was really good before the All-Star break. Injured and not so good after the break. Not good enough to get one of the team's three postseason starts against St. Louis, although former Ranger Pedro Astacio got into the mix.
Scouts will tell you that straight up, Young for Eaton is a good deal for Texas. Maybe that's all that matters.
Kudos to Cowlishaw for pointing out that we just gave up a significant amount of talent for a guy who couldn't beat out Pedro Astacio for a spot in the Padres' playoff rotation.
Update [2005-12-21 1:11:41 by Adam J. Morris]: -- Okay, just a couple of more items...
Evan Grant has a quick piece on Chris Young's reaction, and offers the apparent mindset behind letting Young go:
The Rangers were concerned that Young would constantly struggle to the finish of seasons. At 6-10 and 260 pounds, Young is heavier than most pitchers, but he also grew up in Dallas and was athletic enough to play Division I college basketball.
What confuses me about this is that, when Young was acquired, we were hearing about how his size was an attribute, how that made him more projectable and more likely to be a top starter who could withstand the heat in Texas.
I just don't get it...how can a team, that has preached for years now the importance of developing pitching from within, who has drummed home to us that the Rangers will only succeed by building pitching from the farm system, turn around and trade what appears to be their most successful homegrown starter since Rick Helling for a one year rental?