For a day after the Rangers lost a game, and therefore a series against Toronto, with their ace on the mound and with an opportunity to pick up a game on the Angels, there's a massive amount of good will in Ranger land right now (and, luckily for you, a ton of links to work through).
The good tidings and cheer come, of course, because the Rangers pulled off a couple of trades over an 18 hour period that changed the landscape of the back end of their bullpen from an obvious weakness to what looks like a built-for-postseason-success strength.
Let's get the ugly business of yesterday's game out of the way first. T.R. Sullivan has his game story up at MLB.com in which he recaps a rather unremarkable, except in its terribleness, game against the Blue Jays.
Bryan Dolgin reacts to the game on ESPN Dallas. If you're curious as to why the offense sputtered yet again, Dolgin notes for your enlightenment: "Manager Ron Washington gave Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz another day off. Ian Kinsler was given a day off, too."
Evan Grant writes about C.J. Wilson's second consecutive bad start. There are some quotes from C.J. included but they pretty much amount to, "I stunk."
Jeff Wilson has some notes about the state of the team. He mentions that Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz should be available for tomorrow's series opener in Detroit.
Sullivan also has notes. He writes about Mike Napoli's success behind the plate and of the high school reunion of sorts for Tateyama Yoshinori and Koji Uehara.
Speaking of Uehara, the Rangers made another move to shore up their bullpen yesterday by landing their top target in premier set up reliever Mike Adams. Sullivan lays out the details of the deal. San Diego parted ways with Adams by getting the guys they wanted all along in Double-A tandem Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland from the Rangers.
The fact that the Padres and Rangers were able to navigate the weeks leading up to the deadline while waiting for each other to blink—The Rangers waiting for the Padres to include Adams instead of Heath Bell and the Padres waiting until the Rangers showed that they would be willing to part with guys the Padres wanted—and were still able to reach a compromise with the deadline clock ticking away, just shows what a classic win-win baseball trade this was for both teams.
Anthony Andro reports on the deal and says the Rangers are showing that they are trying hard to get back to the World Series with the upgrade in the bullpen.
Drew Davison has quotes from Jon Daniels on how the Adams trade came about and what his impact and role on the club might be.
Evan Grant runs down what we're all interested in reading, the stats of the Rangers two new late inning set up men. Here's an example:
The Rangers acquired the Nos. 2-3 relievers in the majors this year at keeping runners off base. Uehara's .191 opponents OBP is second to San Francisco's Sergio Romo (.183). Adams, at .197, is third.
ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett has a transcript of Adams' press conference after learning he had been traded to the Rangers. While he was initially surprised to be moved, here's the money quote:
I'm excited about the opportunity to go over and pitch in a pennant race. I've said it before, that's what I play for. I play to win. This past month has been frustrating. It had become a little bit difficult coming to the park. I hate losing.
On the flip side, Durrett spoke with Wieland to get his reaction to the news of the trade with Wieland saying his head is still spinning. Good luck to both Wieland and Erlin.
Durrett lists about ten reasons why he likes the trades for the Rangers.
Jim Reeves likes the moves as well. He says the Rangers are in win-now mode and have turned their bullpen weakness into a strength and that makes the price worth paying.
Randy Galloway agrees and says this trade is about winning now and we should stop whining that the Rangers parted with a couple of youngsters to go for it. (He also says he heard the price for Bell was Erlin or Wieland + Mike Olt. Yuck.)
However, behind the DMN paywall, Grant makes a salient point in saying that while the Rangers made moves to improve the team in an attempt to win now, they didn't really hinder future attempts at winning either.
The Mainstream Media appears to like the trades made by the Rangers as well. Here are some links from writers falling over themselves to approve of the deals:
- Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan names the Rangers the top winner in his rankings of how each team did at the deadline. He calls the Rangers "unquestionable winners" and has the Angels ranked 18th and calls them "losers of the worst kind"
- ESPN's Jayson Stark names the Rangers his top winner and writes, "This is the time when one of the best front offices in the game rises to the swap-meet moment." In the attached video on that link, Tim Kurkjian also names the Rangers as a deadline winner.
- Jim Bowden ranks Jon Daniels as the second best GM in his "TRYING TO WIN NOW" category for deadline moves and writes "the Rangers now have one of the best bullpens in baseball."
- Sports Illustrated's Joe Lemire calls the Rangers "a clear deadline winner."
- CBS Sports' Evan Brunell lists the Rangers among his deadline winners and writes "...Texas belongs on this list simply because of how impressively they upgraded their bullpen in the blink of an eye."