Saturday, December 30, 2006

McCarthy Acquired and Danks Traded

Texas acquired right-hander Brandon McCarthy from the Chicago White Sox in a five-player deal last Saturday in which the Rangers traded John Danks, Nick Masset and Jacob Rasner to Chicago for Brandon McCarthy and outfielder David Paisano.

The Rangers traded:

Danks: Last year John split the season in AA and AAA where he went 9-9 with a 4.34 ERA. His career minor league record is 21-30 and his career era is 4.20. He averaged 0.4 walks per inning last year and is 21 years old. It is possible he will make the White Sox starting rotation sometime this year.

Masset: Nick has done OK in his minor league career (career ERA of 4.53 over 6 seasons), with a strong 2006 after a rough 2005. He made his major league debut last year, with a 4.15 ERA in 8 appearances, and might make the White Sox bullpen out of spring training next year.

Rasner: Jacob has only played for two years and is 7-21 with a 6.14 era. He’s probably just one of those throw-in guys.

The Rangers received:

McCarthy: McCarthy had the tenth most innings pitched by a relief pitcher in the AL last year. He is 7-9 with a 4.39 ERA in his career (parts of two seasons). The White Sox planned to have him start in 2007 and he will be part of the Rangers’ starting rotation.

Paisano: David Paisano is only 19 and has never played in the US. He has only played in the Venezuelan Summer league. Last year he did great when batting with two outs and also did great at the end of the season after struggling at the beginning. For more of his stats go to:

Trade evaluation:

You won’t be able to tell if this trade is good or bad for sure for a few more years. It definitely makes the Rangers stronger for 2007. Right now, the stats of Danks aren’t too promising that he’ll be great, but he seems like a guy with great stuff that can make adjustments at different levels. He might be a good major league pitcher and possibly even great. The Rangers weren’t going to get anything out of Danks this year but they will with McCarthy. McCarthy is very home-run prone and is going to a hitters’ ballpark but is also a huge prospect. We can’t tell if Paisano is going to be good or not since he’s never played in the US. Masset probably will be a decent-to-solid bullpen guy and Rasner was just thrown in there. This is a good trade for the 2007 Rangers but whether it’s a good long-term trade depends on whether Danks and McCarthy reach their potential in the major leagues.

Grade: B

Come back next week for an interview with Rangers broadcaster and former player and GM Tom Grieve.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Newberg Bound Edition Release Party

This week, I will describe what happened at the Newberg Bound Edition release party on December 13th.

It was held at the Tin Star in downtown Dallas, and the 2007 Newberg Report Bound Edition was sold for the first time at the event. Eleanor Czajka was in charge of selling the books and was very friendly like always.

This year’s Bound Edition is great. The cover is the best one yet in my opinion and was done by Marty Yawnick. The inside was designed by Devin Pike and has the usual good stuff, including:
- The Newberg awards, where Jamey ranks the top players in the Rangers minor league system for 2006. Jamey does really nice write-ups on the background of each player.
- The Newberg reports from the past year.
- The stats for every player at every level of the Rangers organization.
- Write-ups on rules for major league rosters, like the Rule 5 Draft.
- Forewords by CJ Wilson, Nick Masset’s mom, and Michael Schlact’s dad.

The food at the event was great. I had the kids’ chicken nuggets and they were great. The fries were awesome. My dad had the bacon cheeseburger taco and really liked it. Tin Star is run by Barry Newberg, Jamey’s brother, and he runs the place well.

The players that were there were John Danks, Kameron Loe, Taylor Teagarden, CJ Wilson, and Ian Kinsler. The first thing they did was sign autographs. They signed for about two hours.

After that, they did a Q&A session. Some of the questions and answers are below.

Q: To Ian: Who is the toughest pitcher you’ve faced in the big leagues?
A: Johan Santana, Mike Mussina, and Jose Contreras.

Q: To all: What are the best and worst minor league parks you’ve played in?
A: Best – Round Rock and Frisco
Worst – Savannah, Little Rock, and Clinton

Q: To John: How do you feel about the change in the Rule 5 Draft rules.
A: He said he didn’t like it because it will push back his being added to the 40-man roster.

Q: To Kameron, Ian and CJ: What is the most surprising thing about life as a ballplayer?
A: CJ said how much you’re focused when you’re out there. Ian said how much you’re catered to. Kameron said how aware you are that you’re in the major leagues.

Q: To all: What was the chemistry like last year on the Rangers?
A: There wasn’t much chemistry on the team last year and the main part of the chemistry that was there was Mark DeRosa.

After the Q&A session, players stood around talking with the fans.

It was a really great event. In addition to the players, a bunch of people from the Rangers and local media were there, including Jeff Cogen, Jeff Evans, Evan Grant, Kat O’Brien, and Danny Fine. You can see pictures at Eleanor's website at

Come back next week for a probable interview with Rangers broadcaster, former GM, and former player Tom Grieve.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hot Stove Report

This week, I will be doing a hot stove report. I will analyze the Kenny Lofton, Marlon Byrd and Eric Gagne signings. I will also analyze the players the Rangers are trying to get and give the percentage chance of the Rangers signing them.

Players the Rangers are going after:

Barry Zito:
Zito is a fly ball pitcher but has performed great in Ameriquest field the past two years. He is a great overall pitcher and could really help our rotation.

Percentage of us signing him: 56.4%

Mark Mulder:
Mulder is a really good pitcher that could help us with our rotation. But he’s going to miss the first couple months of the season. He might or might not rebound quickly off of his surgery.

Percentage: 32.6%

Gagne, Lofton and Byrd Sign

Eric Gagne:
Gagne set the record for most consecutive saves without blowing a save. He has been great but missed most of the last two years due to injuries. He could rebound well and do great and he could do awful. But he will probably be determined to do well since it’s a one-year deal. It’s a good risk because it’s a one-year deal for not too much money.

Grade: A-

Kenny Lofton
Lofton was the best center fielder left in free agency when we got him. He is a great one-year guy to get. This might be his last year, too (probably not). He will fill our hole at center field and lead-off hitter. He also has a really good attitude and has been a consistent winner. The last two years have been among the best of his career. He hit .335 in 2005 and .301 in 2006. He has a career .299 batting average.

Grade: A+

Marlon Byrd
Byrd has a lot of potential but hasn’t performed very well in the majors yet. If Rudy can get him to reach is full potential he could be a very good pick-up. His best year was 2003 when he hit .303 as a starter. Since that year, he has played poorly. His career batting average is .263. If he makes the active roster, it will be as a fifth outfielder.

Grade: B+

Come back next week for a report on the Newberg Bound Edition Release Party with CJ Wilson, Kameron Loe, Ian Kinsler, John Danks, and Taylor Teagarden.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Jon Daniels Trade Analysis and Comparison with John Hart Trades

This is an analysis of the trades Jon Daniels has made as Rangers GM. Each trade will be scored a win, loss, or draw. The score is based on how each player contributed to the Rangers at the major league level. These are graded as of today. Some of them are too recent to really evaluate. At the end, I’ll compare Jon’s record so far to John Hart’s.


1. November 16: Acquired RHP Jon Leicester from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later (Clint Brannon).
Draw – Neither player has done anything for these teams at the major league level.
Record: 0-0-1

2. December 8: Acquired LHP Fabio Castro, for INF Esteban German.
Win – Castro is a really good player. German is good but not as good. Anyway, behind Kinsler, German wasn’t going to get playing time anytime soon.
Record: 1-0-1

3. December 12: Acquired RHP Vicente Padilla from the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later (Ricardo Rodriguez).
Win – Padilla has proved to be a really good pitcher. Rodriguez ended up being dropped by the Phillies. Plus, if we didn’t have Padilla last year, we probably wouldn’t have him this year.
Record: 2-0-1

4. December 13: Acquired OF Brad Wilkerson, OF Terrmel Sledge and RHP Armando Galarraga from the Washington Nationals in exchange for INF Alfonso Soriano.
Loss – Soriano ended up having a terrific year. Wilkerson had an awful year. Galarraga got injured and Sledge immediately got traded.
Record: 2-1-1


5. January 4: Acquired RHP Adam Eaton, RHP Akinori Otsuka and C Billy Killian in exchange for RHP Chris Young, 1B Adrian Gonzalez and OF Terrmel Sledge.
Loss – Eaton got injured and pitched awful when he got back and Killian’s in the minors. Young had a career year and Gonzalez did great. Gonzalez wouldn’t play 1st but would’ve been a good DH. Otsuka has been great but not as good as Young and Gonzalez.
Record: 2-2-1

6. March 31: Acquired LHP John Rheinecker and INF Freddie Bynum from the Oakland A's in exchange for RHP Juan Dominguez
Win – Dominguez had an awful year and has a bad attitude and Rheinecker ended up pitching well.
Record: 3-2-1

7. March 31: Sent INF Freddy Bynum to the Chicago Cubs for LHP John Koronka and a player to be named later or cash considerations. I can’t tell if we ever sent another player to the Cubs.
Win – Koronka did great the 1st half of the year and Bynum didn’t do anything.
Record: 4-2-1

8. April 1: Traded David Dellucci to Philadelphia for RHP Robinson Tejeda and OF Jake Blalock
Win – Tejeda looks to be a pretty promising pitcher while Dellucci had a down year.
Record: 5-2-1

9. May 11: Acquired OF Freddy Guzman and nonroster RHP Cesar Rojas from the San Diego Padres for nonroster RHP John Hudgins and nonroster OF Vince Sinisi.
Draw – Neither team has gotten much major league contribution.
Record: 5-2-2

10. May 13: Acquired INF Enrique Cruz and a player to be named later (ended up being cash) from the Milwaukee Brewers for LHP Brian Shouse.
Loss – Cruz stayed in the minors all year. Shouse had a 3.97 ERA in 59 games for the Brewers.
Record: 5-3-2

11. May 31: Acquired INF/OF Jerry Hairston, Jr. from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for INF Phil Nevin and cash considerations.
Win – Nevin continued playing awfully while we got some good (and sometimes bad) defense out of Hairston.
Record: 6-3-2

12. June 1: Acquired nonroster 1B Jason Hart from the Twins for a PTBN. I can’t tell if we ever sent anyone to the Twins.
Draw – Neither team got any major league contribution.
Record: 6-3-3

13. June 29: Acquired LHP Daniel Haigwood and cash considerations from the Philadelphia Phillies for LHP Fabio Castro.
Loss – Castro had great potential while Haigwood doesn’t have nearly as much potential.
Record: 6-4-3

14. July 28: Acquired OF Carlos Lee and OF Nelson Cruz from Milwaukee in exchange for RHP Francisco Cordero, OFs Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix and nonroster LHP Julian Cordero.
Win – We filled Cordero’s spot with Otsuka and Mench wasn’t doing well. Nix hasn’t been good in the major leagues so far and Julian Cordero is a minor prospect. Cruz has outstanding potential. We didn’t get much out of Lee though and now he’s gone.
Record: 7-4-3

15. July 30: Acquired RHP Luis Mendoza from Boston for LHP Bryan Corey.
Draw – Corey had pitched great for us at the beginning but had already been designated for assignment when traded, so it was good to get something for him. Mendoza’s a regular minor leaguer. Corey had 16 appearances for Boston with a 4.57 ERA.
Record: 7-4-4

16. July 30: Acquired C Miguel Ojeda from Colorado for cash considerations.
Win – Ojeda played decently for us while all we had to do is send cash to Colorado. Ojeda might be the backup catcher in 2007.
Record: 8-4-4

17. July 31: Acquired OF Matt Stairs from the Royals for nonroster RHP Joselo Diaz.
Draw – Neither player did much for the teams.
Record: 8-4-5

18. July 31: Acquired RHP Kip Wells from Pittsburgh in exchange for nonroster RHP Jesse Chavez.
Win – Chavez hasn’t made the majors yet and isn’t much of a prospect, while we got a few good starts out of Wells before his injury.
Record: 9-4-5

19. August 30: Acquired OF Victor Diaz from the New York Mets for Minor League C Mike Nickeas.
Draw – Neither player has played in the majors since the trade. Neither has much potential to make a major league impact with their teams.
Record: 9-4-6

20. September 1: Traded Triple-A 1B Randall Simon to the Philadelphia Phillies for cash considerations.
Draw – Neither team got much at all.
Record: 9-4-7

Comparison between Hart and Daniels:

John Hart:
Record: 7-11-18
Percentage of trades that were wins: 19%
Number of trades: 36 in 4 years (average of 9 trades per year)

Jon Daniels:
Record: 9-4-7
Percentage of trades that were wins: 45%
Number of trades: 20 in 1 year

These stats lead me to think that Daniels is a better and more aggressive GM, while Hart is a laid back GM who does not make very good trades most of the time. Almost half of Hart’s trades didn’t make any difference.

Come back next week for a hot stove report special. Also coming up soon will be a write-up of the Q&A session at the Newberg Bound Edition release party.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

John Hart Trade Analysis Part 4 of 4

This is part 4 of a 4 part analysis of the trades John Hart made while he was Rangers GM. Each trade will be scored a win, loss, or draw. The score is based on how each player contributed to the Rangers at the major league level.

2004 (continued):

31. July 31: Player TBNL traded to New York (NL) for Scott Erickson and cash considerations.
Draw - Neither team got a benefit from this trade.
Record: 7-10-14


32. March 30: OF Ramon Nivar traded to Baltimore for LHP Matt Riley and C Keith McDonald.
Draw – Both teams have gotten 7 games from the players they acquired.
Record: 7-10-15

33. March 30: Future considerations traded to Chicago (NL) for infielder Cody Ransom.
Draw – Neither team has gotten anything out of the deal.
Record: 7-10-16

34. May 22: RHP Vlad Nunez traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later.
Draw – There was no impact on either team.
Record: 7-10-17

35. July 21: RHP Matt Lorenzo traded to Atlanta for RHP Kevin Grybowski.
Draw – Grybowski did awful in his one Ranger year. Lorenzo finished off the year with the single-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans. After that year the Braves cut Lorenzo.
Record: 7-10-18

36. July 30: RHP Chan Ho Park and cash traded to San Diego for 1B/DH Phil Nevin.
Loss – Nevin did next to nothing for us and Park still has some good outings. Even though neither player performed too well, Park did better than Nevin. The Padres actually got a decent year out of Park in ’06. Park posted a 7-7 record with a 4.81 ERA. Nevin went 38-for-176 with 9 HR’s and a .216 batting average in ’06 before being traded to the Cubs.
Record: 7-11-18

Come back next week for an analysis of the trades made so far by Jon Daniels and comparison of John Hart and Jon Daniels trades.