Jim Reeves weighs in on the trade, and says that the Rangers are in "win now" mode -- that Buck has to get this team to the playoffs in 2006.
For years the Rangers had hoped to find and field a local talent, and Young, from Highland Park, was not just good, he was intelligent and articulate. I love smart pitchers, and Young soaked up information from Orel Hershiser like a sponge.
"We think Eaton is an upgrade there," a Rangers official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
From a potential and talent perspective, that's probably true. Eaton has a chance to be a No. 2 or No. 3 starter on a good team. Young, on the same team, would have likely been no more than a 4 or 5.
Eaton has been touted as a potential National League Cy Young winner for several years now. He was on his way to that breakout season last summer when he was sidelined for two months by a strained flexor tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand.
At the time of the injury June 15, Eaton was 9-1 and riding an eight-game winning streak. He finished 11-5 with a 4.27 ERA. The Rangers are betting that the real Eaton is the one who was leading the Padres' staff for the first 2 1/2 months of the season.
They're also gambling on their private assessment that Young, who has shown stamina problems late in each of his first two big league seasons, is headed for an eventual physical breakdown.