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12/22/2013

The Rangers signing Choo works, if ...

The Texas Rangers have won the 2013 MLB Offseason Championship. The parade is Wednesday at the Ballpark.

All of Texas Rangers nation is thrilled with the news that the team signed outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to a seven-year contract on Saturday worth $130 million. The number geeks are thrilled with the acquisition of a player who gets on base (.423 in '13 with Reds). BTW - Weird stat: Choo walked 112 times in '13, and struckout 133.

Tqi7x.St.58At the very least, the Rangers will have an offensive lineup that should be able to score runs, and not be a tremendous liability.

Between Choo and the trade to acquire Prince Fielder, the Rangers are committed to two players for the next seven years. 

These deals can be labeled a success if:
a.) The Rangers win a World Series. A title makes every move correct.
b.) The Rangers can buy off their mistakes; if the players aren't working out, they can flush either with little consequence.

If either one of these deals becomes a hamstring on the team's ability to make moves and add players, these are a bust. We know this because it's happened to this franchise before.

The last time the Rangers won "offseason" titles was when then team owner Tom Hicks was throwing money at everybody - in 2001 and 2002. He was signing Alex Rodriguez, Ken Caminiti, Chan Ho Park, Andres Gallaragga, et all to absurd deals; the Rangers featured one of baseball's highest payrolls, and it was all based on the projections that the team would win, the stadium would be full, and the money would be flowing.

Mlb_a_fielder_gb1_600x400The team didn't win, and Hicks could not cover costs. He gutted the team in the name of cash.

New primary owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson are like many new owners - they want to spend money and get that title. Finances be damned. Now, if they are losing money and losing games, then things may change.

Why 2013 is not 2002 is that the Rangers are set to come into a massive amount of guaranteed revenue when their new TV contract is signed, and the GM running things is much different than the men who had this job in '01 and '02.

In 2001, then GM Doug Melvin did not want to sign Alex Rodriguez to the 10-year, $252 million deal he signed. He was ordered.
In 2002, then GM John Hart was given the green light to throw money at whomever, including Park, John Rocker, Juan Gonzalez, Carl Everett, etc. Hart was desperate to win a World Series, he knew the farm system was a waste, and he thought the best way to was to sign everybody and hope it worked.

It's 2013, and Jon Daniels is not Melvin or Hart. We are not sure what Bob Simpson or Ray Davis are.

It's one thing to green light adding Fielder or Choo. Hicks did that. 
It's quite another to be able to keep up the payroll if one or both don't work out. Hicks could not do that. 

Adding Fielder and Choo is great fun, and it looks great. On paper the team is much better offensively than 2013.

It will be wonderful, provided they win the World Series, or can flush either of these guys with minimal consequence.

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Comments

Davidmar

The batting lineup on paper looks significantly better than last year, and certainly better than if they had to go with Michael Choice in left with Leonys Martin leading off. I still think they're going to add a catcher to the mix, but Jon Daniels has done a good job adding credible pieces to the opening day roster.

fingerscrossed

I read your blog regularly. And I follow Rangers baseball like few fans you will ever come across. I love it.

Your analysis is perfect. I agree completely. I'm praying these guys make a huge impact on a line up that was pretty empty last season.

chris smith

Mac, have you jumped the shark? Don't be lazy.

Uh, well, let's not let the facts get in the way. Galarraga (you may want to learn to spell the name correctly before publishing it incorrectly) and Caminiti were not signed to long-term ridiculous deals, both of whom received 1-year deals.

Each of the signings mentioned by Mac all were made well over 10 years ago. The game is different. Free agency is different. If you're going to play the free agency game, and this team is forced to due to its numerous trades, some of which brought nothing back in return, you're going to have to go 7 years.

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