Kevin Sherrington has an interesting column in the DMN today, urging the Rangers to sacrifice some of the future to make a deal. While my knee-jerk reaction is that such a move would be a mistake, I do think that the underlying point Sherrington is making -- that the players are losing faith in the organization -- is a very valid one.
As Sherrington points out, nothing was done to upgrade the team last summer, in the midst of a pennant race, and nothing was done in the offseason, despite the glaring holes that are out there. For all the talk about how this is a group of guys with good face who play the game the right way, it has also been emphasized that this is a group of players who want to win now, not in 2008 or 2009. And the public comments Mike Young and Mark Teixeira made this spring, expressing displeasure about the lack of activity over the offseason, would seem to be just the tip of the iceberg if management fiddles once again while the Rangers fall out of the race.
Personally, I think it is too late to salvage this season. With Kenny Rogers gone for three weeks, the Rangers are probably done, and trading a Diamond or a Volquez for an A.J. Burnett is going to end up being counter-productive.
Instead, management is going to have to do something significant this offseason. They need to do like Tom Grieve did after the 1988 season, when, after several seasons of standing pat, he made a couple of major deals, bringing Julio Franco and Rafael Palmeiro to town, and signed Nolan Ryan as a free agent.
The Franco and Palmeiro deals were costly in terms of talent given up...but Grieve rightly realized that the time had come where the team had to make some moves, had to try to upgrade in some key areas in order to move forward and be competitive while the Juan Gonzalezes and Pudge Rodriguezes were developing.
And that's what Hart (or his successor, if he steps down this offseason) is going to have to do this offseason. The Rangers absolutely cannot stand pat this offseason, add an Astacio and a Colbrunn and call it a day. They need to try to strengthen themselves now -- again, a Soriano deal that could bring in major league ready young pitching would be a huge step in that direction -- but the biggest issue is going to be how management responds this offseason, in terms of making deals or signing free agents to make this team a playoff contender in 2006.
Elsewhere in the news...in the S-T today, Kathleen O'Brien has a piece on a possible Soriano trade, although it is more a retrospective on Soriano being here and the ARod/Soriano trade than anything substantive about Soriano being moved...
T.R. Sullivan says Dominguez, Dickey, Wilson and Volquez are all candidates to take Kenny Rogers' rotation spot, and quotes John Hart as saying that the organization is happy with Juan Dominguez.
Finally, the award for asinine comment of the week goes to Ray Buck, for this item:
I asked him who is the one guy that Juan Marichal would pay to see pitch today. His answer didn't surprise me.
"Pedro," he replied, not even needing the Martinez part.
Then, Marichal added one more name.
"Esteban Loaiza," he said. "I like the way he pitches."
There was this short pause.
"He once pitched here [1999-2000 Rangers], didn't he?" Marichal asked.
And we wonder why the Rangers are always looking for pitching?
Ummm...is Buck really suggesting that the Rangers would have been better off hanging on to Esteban Loaiza for the past five years?
Rather than letting his mercurial and (overall) mediocre performance go, in exchange for Mike Young?
Tell me it ain't so...