So, today, we have the story out that Michael Young has been named Rangers player of the year by the local BBWAA chapter. No surprise there.
Jayson Stark says that talk between the Marlins and Rangers in regards to Dan Uggla got pretty "hot and heavy" at the GM meetings. The only thing that is more surprising to me than the Rangers having serious interest in Uggla is the number of Ranger fans who seem to be on board with the idea of bringing Uggla here to be the DH.
Let's be realistic...if the Rangers add Uggla, who will be making $7-8 million in 2010, that's it as far as significant offseason moves go. They've got no more money of note to spend once Uggla is added. So unless you are planning on moving C.J. Wilson or Frankie Francisco or Ian Kinsler -- and really, adding Uggla only makes sense to me if you are planning on trading Kinsler -- then Uggla is your big offseason addition.
And Uggla isn't that great an option as a DH. He's a .281 career EQA guy who had a .280 EQA last season and turns 30 this offseason. He's valuable as a second baseman, but as a DH, he's just decent. And he's certainly not worth $7-8 million.
And forget about the idea that the Marlins will just give him away to you for the equivalent of Michael Hernandez or Steve Shoemaker...teams that need a second base are going to value Uggla, and will be willing to give up prospects to get him. So the price to land Uggla is going to involve names like Kasey Kiker or Robbie Ross or Engel Beltre.
Adding Uggla as a DH doesn't make sense.
Moving on...Randy Galloway has a column about Tom Hicks' efforts to retain ownership of the Rangers. Honestly, I can't imagine how any Ranger fan can feel anything but sickened about the idea that Hicks would stay on board as teh owner of the team. Galloway mentions that Roger Staubach being part of Hicks' group is obviously a p.r. coup, but I don't care if Hicks gets Staubach, or Rupert Murdoch, or if Jesus Christ himself came down from heaven and joined Hicks' group...
Tom Hicks has to go, and after the embarrassment that the last year has been, in terms of ownership, Hicks somehow figuring out a way to keep the team would be a gut punch.
Some quotes from Galloway's column:
Then came the official, yet convoluted, word from Hicks on Wednesday. He wants to remain as majority owner.
At the ballpark, you would have thought a large sewer line just erupted.
Talking to several different employees Thursday, there was heavy depression noted.
"I work for Tom, I wanted Tom to be successful at this, but, frankly, we can’t sell Tom," said one. "Our fans, for the most part, will not buy Tom. And our former season-ticket holders, and we’d lost a lot of those because of Mr. Hicks, will not come back if Tom is still the owner."
That’s not news. Anyone in the media with an e-mail address can tell you that. We’ve heard enough of it over the years.
Hicks, as far as I can tell, is certainly not a hated boss by the baseball people who work for him. He’s just considered hopeless as an owner. Fans normally respond to the product on the field, and attendance did grow last season, but ...
"No one says it publicly, but there was disappointment that we didn’t draw better, based on how well the team played into September," said an employee. "Yes, attendance was up, but it was up from one of our worst years ever at the gate. The perception of the team, unfortunately, still has a lot to do with the perception of Mr. Hicks, including, of late, all the financial difficulty."
After the embarrassment Hicks has been to MLB the past year, and after everything that has gone on during his stewardship the past decade, I can't imagine MLB is going to let Hicks keep the team if there is another viable group out there.
The very idea of him staying on, when his problems have ended up hamstringing this club during the 2009 season and in 2010, when the Rangers should be prepared to make a significant financial commitment to the major league team to get them over the hump, and instead are back to "bottom fishing," as John Hart put it after the 2004 season, nauseates me.