There's been some discussion on this piece from Peter Gammons, which includes this snippet about the Rangers and Mets:
You know what the Rangers wanted from the Mets last winter for Vicente Padilla?
Okay...first of all, let's recall this is coming from Gammons, who has a history of praise for, and being tight with, Mets g.m. Omar Minaya. So this is likely the Mets' version of the story he's getting, and any g.m. is going to make it sound like his counterparts are asking for the moon.
That said...if you are Jon Daniels, and someone is asking you this past winter about Vicente Padilla, what would your stance be in regards to trading him?
Padilla's value was at an all-time low, after an awful season. But Padilla's contract is in line with other starters of his ability, and has two more years with a team option. It isn't as if the Rangers are loaded down with onerous contracts, and it isn't as if the Rangers needed to clear out rotation space.
So, from a financial standpoint and from an on-the-field standpoint, there was no sense of urgency to move Padilla.
Plus, Padilla is a guy who, when he is healthy, has been productive. And productive starting pitchers command a premium in the trade market...particularly in July.
Jon Daniels was in a situation where he's got a guy who he can use in the rotation, whose contract isn't onerous or preventing the Rangers from making moves this past offseason, and who, if he bounces back and pitches like he has in the past, could bring a significant return.
So why should he even consider a low-ball offer from the Mets this past offseason? If Padilla pitches well in 2008, then come July, a Guerra/Pelfrey/Heilman package is a fairly reasonable opening proposal from the Rangers to a contender who wants to add Padilla to their rotation. And if Padilla doesn't pitch well, it isn't as if his trade value would be any lower in 2008 than it was this past offseason.
There's a diary up killing Daniels for being scared of getting ripped off and thus making unrealistic trade proposals. And hey, maybe that's the case. I don't know.
But I think the more realistic possibility is that Daniels believed Padilla is a better pitcher than he showed last season, and would be able to command a premium package either in 2008 or 2009. And I would guess that Daniels figured that if he was going to deal Padilla this offseason, it was going to be for at least close to what he believed Padilla's value would be once he got back on track.