Wow...scary though the notion is, in the latest Gerry Fraley chat, there are three majors points he makes that I agree with (which I've bolded below, so there's no confusion):
From e-mail: If Carlos Lee doesn't re-sign with the Rangers, will the trade Jon Daniels pulled off with Milwaukee still have been worth it? Also, why are the Rangers seemingly so interested in re-signing Lee to a big-money deal, yet they never even considered signing Soriano to an extension, when he is the better all-around player? Jason
Gerry Fraley: Welcome to the mid-day edition of our weekly conversation. Promise not to make Aggie fans mad this week by again pointing out the lousy non-conference schedule. Just will not do that. Jon Daniels did the right thing in making a deadline deal. Teams get only so many chances, and he went for it. That's what a good general manager should do. You can debate the merits of making a hitter the top priority. The bullpen has needed help for nearly two years. Lee's value is dropping. He has only two homers in 104 at-bats with the Rangers. Curious to see how his new agent, Scott Boras, spins that.
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moderator: What do you think about the performance of the Rangers in Tampa since Buck's return? Coincidence? I think not.
Gerry Fraley: Do not think it is fair to make a judgment after only two games, but this team has looked as if it is pressing against the D-Rays. That tends to be a mark of a Showalter team in the second half. The pressure builds and builds and finally brings down the club.
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JCR: What are the possibilities of the Rangers trading Tex for some pitching. I doubt he will stay much longer.
Gerry Fraley: The Rangers cannot do that until they make an exhaustive attempt to sign Teixeira to a long-term deal. Like Michael Young, Teixeira is a franchise player. They could not come close to fair value for him in a deal. The first and only option should be keeping him.
A couple of added comments...I absolutely do not agree with Fraley about the bullpen, a point I think I've hammered home since...well, since I started blogging. You can build a very good bullpen with live young arms and reclamation projects like Rick Bauer. Trading for bullpen arms at the deadline is a recipe for disaster...that's how you end up losing Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe (for Heathcliff Slocumb), or Rick Helling (for Ed Vosberg). "Proven" relievers are always, always, always overpriced. Always.
And on Teixeira...I couldn't agree more. You do everything you can to sign him long-term, and if you can't do it, you take the draft picks and move on.
You don't trade Mark Teixiera this offseason, or next offseason, because he's nearing free agency and you are fearful he might sign elsewhere. That's a loser mindset, and only loser franchises do something like that.
You don't even consider trading Mark Teixeira unless and until you are in July, 2008, and 1) you are out of the playoff race, and 2) Teixeira has made it clear he is going to leave after the season. At that point, you can consider trading him.
But until then, there should be no discussions -- NONE -- about trading Mark Teixeira. None. And it pisses me off just sitting here thinking about the idea of it.