In what has become an annual tradition at SBN, Max Rieper at Royals Review oversaw a simulated offseason, with each of the 30 MLB teams having a g.m. and going out to try to negotiate free agent signings, work trades, and generally administer their team in a way that is consistent with their budgetary expectations. It picks up on the last day of the season, so all option decisions, qualifying offers, etc., are made by the Sim G.M.s, regardless of what moves were made in October or the leadup to the offseason.
Exercised the 2019 option on Robinson Chirinos — Pretty self-explanatory. I think he’s worth bringing back for 2019.
Declined the 2019 options on Doug Fister, Matt Moore and Martin Perez — Again, pretty self-explanatory. I’m sure some of you are surprised that I’d let Martin Perez go, though.
Non-tendered Carlos Perez and Ryan Rua — These are the two arbitration-eligible players that I thought made sense to cut loose. One can make an argument for letting Eddie Butler go, as well, but I decided to hang onto him.
Traded Austin O’Bannion to the Cubs for Drew Smyly and Ali Solis — The Cubs and I decided to go ahead and consummate the Smyly deal. We had to identify the players to be named later, so we each picked a random organizational depth guy to send. Assuming Smyly will be ready to go to start 2019 (and, while there’s always health risks with Tommy John surgery guys, Smyly had the surgery 16 months ago and so should be in good shape), he’s in the Ranger rotation.
Traded Hanser Alberto to the Twins for Jake Odorizzi — The Twins g.m. wanted to move Odorizzi, who is slated to make almost $10 million in arbitration, and wanted nothing more than a functional utility infielder back. Odorizzi was replacement level in 2017, but was okay in 2018, and represents a one-year commitment to a guy who can give the rotation some innings, and who could be moved at the deadline potentially.
Traded Sal Mendez to the Mets for Jason Vargas and Freddy Valdez — This is us buying a prospect from the Mets. Vargas is owed $8 million in 2019 and has an $8 million option in 2020 with a $2 million buyout. After a disastrous 2018, the Mets wanted out of the deal, and were willing to part with Freddy Valdez, a big, 16 year old righthanded corner outfielder from the Dominican Republic who has impressive offensive potential, to get the deal done. Vargas will get a chance to show if he has anything left in the tank, and will simply be released at the start of the season if it appears he’s done. Like Odorizzi, if he bounces back, he’s got some potential use as someone to eat innings or be a trade chip at the deadline.
Traded Jurickson Profar to the Tigers for Beau Burrows and Gregory Soto — Profar, with two years of team control remaining, and no obvious place to play if Adrian Beltre returns, was able to bring back two decent pitching prospects. Burrows, who went to Weatherford High School, likely starts the 2019 season in AAA, and Soto, a lefty, would be in Frisco. Neither is a can’t-miss type, but both have good arms and are added to the current mix of pitchers in the Rangers’ system who could make their debuts in 2019.
Signed Adrian Beltre to a 1 year, $12 million deal — Adrian Beltre has to come back for one more year, right? I did try to sign Manny Machado to play third base initially — but my 12 year, $400 million offer wasn’t good enough, and when that happened, I went back to Beltre.
Signed Lance Lynn to a 2 year, $12 million deal — Lynn wasn’t good for the Twins last year, but was much better after being traded to the Yankees, and his 3.84 FIP on the year was solid. On a cheap two year deal, he gives the Rangers someone they should be able to plug into the rotation and forget about, and if he does look like the Lance Lynn of old, he could be in demand at the trade deadline.
Signed Jake Diekman to a 1 year, $2 million deal — We like Jake.
Signed Martin Perez to a 1 year, $1.5 million deal with incentives — As if I was going to let Martin Perez really leave. At this price, he vies with Vargas and Edinson Volquez for the fifth starter spot, and can go to the pen otherwise.
Signed Devin Mesoraco, Denard Span, Josh Tomlin and Yovani Gallardo to minor league deals — Mesoraco gives the Rangers some catching depth and a possible backup to Robinson Chirinos. Span can audition for the center field job in spring training. Gallardo and Tomlin are veterans who provide AAA rotation depth.
As far as non-moves go, the biggest disappointment for me was not moving one of the lefthanded bats. I discussed deals involving Shin-Soo Choo being dealt for Ian Desmond, Homer Bailey, and just being sent out while eating money, and I also tried to move Willie Calhoun in a couple of deals, including one that I thought was close that would have brought Byron Buxton to Texas, but couldn’t get either done. Joey Gallo was the guy this year everyone was asking about. Nomar Mazara was also the subject of inquiries, but mostly from people wanting to buy low on him, so he didn’t get moved.