Good morning. Well, everything that Sunday afternoon was for the Rangers, the joy of Adrian Beltre and the cemented legacy of Pudge Rodriguez, the Monday afternoon and the evening that followed were the opposite.
If July 30, 2017 is to be known as Ranger Day for it historical significance to the franchise, July 31, 2017 is the day it became apparent that the window had firmly slammed shut on the best years in franchise history.
It’s poetic that Jonathan Lucroy was the first to go. The return, a PTBNL, will not be named Sweet Lew Brinson. Jeremy Jeffress was next, of course. He brought back basically a younger Austin Bibens-Dirkx. Not LuLu Ortiz, for sure, but not even Ryan Cordell.
And then Darvish went, despite his selfie to the contrary and announced ten minutes after the deadline, when it had become clear the Rangers had been forced to swerve to miss the People Eater's Limousine headed straight for their Volkswagen Beetle in a game of chicken that apparently they couldn’t win.
The Cubs once won that game before. They got only a slightly lesser haul for a much lesser pitcher in Matt Garza. The year previously, they got their Game 7 starter for Ryan Dempster.
CC Sabathia once brought back Michael Brantley and he wasn’t even the headliner. The Mariners milked Freddy Garcia, John Halama, and Carlos Guillen out of Houston and won 116 games three years later.
You might recall when the Rangers gave up a top 20 prospect named Justin Smoak plus one of their best pitching prospects for Cliff Lee. Very most recently, David Price netted the Tigers Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Jairo Labourt — three of the Blue Jays’ top 20 prospects, with Norris being among the top 20 in the game.
Perhaps most comparable is when former Rangers GM Doug Melvin couldn’t quite drum up a market for Zack Greinke and landed only a top 50 prospect in SS Jean Segura and two lesser pitching prospects from Anaheim’s barren system.
The Rangers dealt Yu Darvish, one of the three or so best pitchers to ever wear their uniform, owner of perhaps the best stuff in baseball, for one flawed prospect you might find among the top 60-70 (which, I know, lists, whatever) in baseball if the list is generous enough to overlook the fact that he can’t play anywhere on the field and a couple of lotto hopefuls.
(Boy can Willie Calhoun hit, though. I like Willie Calhoun. I’m glad he’s going to be a Ranger. He’s just not the type of headliner you’d expect for Yu Darvish, and, frankly, not the kind of player the Rangers usually seek.)
But it was better than a Comp Round B draft pick so you have to give ‘em that. This is to say, the CBA has once again been maneuvered to really stick it to Texas. Back when the Indians got four prospects for Sabathia, they were going to get a top 20-30 pick if they let him walk. The Rangers were going to get a top 70-ish pick for Darvish because of the new CBA.
The other reason the Rangers were forced to trade Darvish for a sickeningly light return is the fact that they couldn’t gin up a market in a year where everyone knows the Dodgers are going to run away with this thing anyway so why bother for a rental?
Let’s call it the perfect storm of sadness.
Oh, if you’re curious about how the game went last night: Levi Weaver recaps the 6-4 bummer against the Mariners where the Rangers ultimately had has many errors as runs in a fall-from-ahead loss.
Jeff Wilson writes about the Rangers trading Yu Darvish with the hopes of bringing him back this winter.
Evan Grant writes that the Rangers trading Darvish signifies the closing of the window and ponders when it could be cracked open again.
Kevin Sherrington writes that ultimately Jon Daniels and the Rangers failed in the Darvish era in the very specific way the franchise has always failed: Developing their own arms.
Jeff Passan has a great fly-on-the-wall report of the frenzied last 15 minutes before the deadline where the stark reality of a bad situation came crashing down on JD.
Keith Law gives his take on the trade saying the Rangers didn’t acquire any top 100 caliber prospects for the Dodgers’ new No. 2 starter.
David Schoenfield plants Texas firmly in the loser circle for their light return on Darvish but also because mostly everything about garbage-ass Lucroy.
Dave Cameron does his usual gymnastics to try to contrarian his way into saying the Rangers maybe didn’t get taken in the Darvish deal if that inspires any hope in you.
Schoenfield ultimately gives the Rangers a pity B for the “got what they could” refrain despite not even getting a top 50 prospect for Darvish.
Eric Longenhagen’s scouting takes are mild with Calhoun the great hope for the deal here and A.J. Alexy/Brendon Davis the too-soon-to-calls.
Sam Butler writes that the actual players who are still currently playing for the Rangers will so go about their business of trying to win or whatever despite the white flag being waved.
Stefan Stevenson writes that Ryan Rua is back! Hey, Clayton Blackburn is here now, too! I don’t know who Clayton Blackburn is.
As ESPN chronicles via a Grant tweet, Jurickson Profar has been out of the Round Rock lineup the last few days before landing on the DL with a bad case of mad he wasn’t traded-itis. Imagine going back in time to January 2012 and showing yourself from then the news from yesterday.
David Adler notes that Adrian Beltre won Player of the Week honors in basically the biggest no-brainer of all time.
Butler previews tonight’s game between the Rangers and Mariners where oh boy Nick Martinez will be starting for the Rangers and not Yu Darvish.
And, lastly, since we all could use a hug:
Have a great day!