It is a sad day for me today. The Rangers have traded Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis for Koji Uehara.
Having had a chance to look at the deal and Uehara's numbers, I'm okay with the trade. It seems to work out for both sides. Eno Sarris looks at it over at FanGraphs, and thinks Uehara should close for Texas. Jason Parks and Kevin Goldstein take a look at the deal at BP, and also appear to conclude it makes sense for each side. Parks sees Davis as a guy with huge power potential and a quality glove at first base who needs to make adjustments and stop thinking so much, while he sees Hunter as a mid- to back-rotation guy who didn't really have a role with the Rangers.
Uehara is probably the best reliever in the Ranger pen right now. He was bad as a starter for Baltimore in 2009, and has been very good in relief the past two seasons, with his K, BB and HR rates almost identical in 2010 and 2011. His 1.72 ERA is a little misleading because he has a .194 BABIP and a 97.6% LOB rate, but his FIP and xFIP are in the low- to mid-2s.
So this makes the team better, and at a cost the Rangers could afford, even though Chris Davis, in particular, could end up making this trade look really bad down the road. I think it is a reasonable trade. I can't criticize the Rangers for making this move.
I can be a little sad, though, because Hunter and Davis have been two of my favorite Rangers. They certainly weren't the best players on the team, but for whatever reason, they were guys I had a soft spot for and particularly rooted for. By all accounts, they are two really good individuals, popular teammates and good in the clubhouse. And Davis, in particular, is going to be better off in Baltimore, where he has a chance to get a fresh start and have a chance to play everyday, something that wasn't going to happen in Texas.
So I'm glad they'll be getting a chance to go somewhere and have a bigger role than they would here, but I'll miss having them here.
I'm assuming Andres Blanco will replace Chris Davis on the active roster tomorrow, and then the Rangers will have to decide whether to drop Omar Quintanilla when Craig Gentry is ready to return, or option Taylor Teagarden and keep Quintanilla around under Adrian Beltre is ready to return.