Monday Morning Manager….Two Week Warning edition

All right….here are the questions, need to hear your opinions. You have the option of answering the questions or just ranting away on your own. The Cowboys won, the game was a snoozer, the $6 million kicker was fine and Bledsoe keeps his job so come back over to baseball.

1. Of their own nine free agents, who should be the Rangers top priority in the off-season.

2. Should Robinson Tejeda be locked into the rotation next year based on what he’s done in September.

3. Would you trade Mark Teixeira straight up for any one of these pitchers with a similar amount of service time: Dontrelle Willis, Jeremy Bonderman, Brandon Webb, Jake Peavy, Cliff Lee or Erik Bedard?

4. Has Nelson Cruz proved to you that he should be the Rangers everyday right fielder next year.

5. Jason Botts…Is he the next Ian Kinsler or the next Laynce Nix?


1. Gary Matthews Jr. of course. The Rangers need pitching but their pitching staff would be much better with a hawk in CF who can go get everything. If the Rangers don’t have a CF, then the pitching staff is in trouble.
2. Yes, yes, yes.

3. For Willis, Bonderman, Webb, any of those three

4. Can’t hit

5. Can’t field

1. Vicente Padilla would make the most sense but wait until the Rangers see how hard it is to fix that OF if they don’t re-sign their own free agents.
2. Remember when Kerry Wood went to camp with the Cubs for the first time and didn’t make the team. It was Angels manager Terry Collins who said, “The Cubs are going to win the World Series for sure if they have five starting pitchers better than Kerry Wood.”

3. Both teams would have to think about Bonderman for Teixeira

4. Put him in the lineup and let’s go.

5. Put him in the lineup and let’s go

1.I think it’s a tie between DeRosa and Matthews Jr. But if I had to chose between those two, I’d take Matthews defense, along with his bat at the leadoff spot, over DeRosa’s versatility.
2.Absolutely Not. A few meaningless starts are not enough to determine his efficiency over a full season. He might be a major leaguer for sure, or end up like Juan Dominguez or Ricardo Rodriguez. But the only way to find out, is giving him starts on a consistent basis.

3.Only for Webb.

4.Needs to stop swinging at breaking balls out of the strike zone.

5.Nix had injury problems. When healthy, he was pretty decent. I think that all Botts needs is ABs at the major league level. There’s no point in having him beating up on PCL pitching.

1.) I guess GMJ and DeRosa. Both seem like glue players to me. Neither are the most talented in the world, but they both strike me as winners and as guys that are gritty and will help get the job done. You need several guys like this when you are building a contender. Look at the Rangers teams in the past. They had some guys like this who did things that didn’t always show up but helped win games.
2.) Yes unless or until someone better comes along. You always have to look to upgrade. But, if things stay the same (which they won’t), I say yes. You definitely have to go into camp in the spring with the fifth spot open and throw in three or four guys and let them fight it out. Let me rant a bit here. I have heard over the last few years that we are trying to model certain teams. I have heard in the past that we are trying to model Minnesota. Well, if we are trying to model Minnesota then we are going to go with the young guys, like Tejeda, and take our lumps and build something long-term. The problem with the Rangers is that they are skiddish. They will go with a young guy, like a Doug Davis, for a start or two, and then they will not commit after the inevitable rough outing. Everyone with half a brain knows that’s not the way to build a staff. But, we have never been able to decide whether we are trying to build or win. I say pick one or the other and stick with the formula for a year. I have heard others say that we are trying to model the White Sox. If we are doing that, then trades and free agents are going to come into play more. Just ******* pick one approach and stick with it for at least a season. Personally, I would prefer that we give Tejeda and Danks and Volquez 30 starts next year. We might finish 2nd or 3rd again, or even 4th, but we would be set up for the future.

3.) I would trade Tex for Willis, Webb, or Peavy but especially Webb. He was made for our ballpark with that wicked sinker.

4.) No, but I still think we need to put him out there. Again, the same argument applies here. Put him out there and let him figure things out. If he makes some mistakes, fine. But, let’s get the ******* out of the way as soon as possible because I think we have a solid player down the road with Cruz.

5.) Who knows? Again, no one wants to give him a consistent chance. I am sure that they will go into next season with a platoon with Botts and some spare veteran. Botts will struggle and they will not give him consistent at-bats and we will call him a bust. You have to give these guys a chance. You have to find out what you have. Look, the Rangers have had to do this with the young guys in the bullpen, out of necessity, the past couple months, and look what has happened. It looks like we got something with Littleton and Rupe and Wilson. We only know this, though, because we gave them a chance. We have to do this with Cruz, Botts, Volquez, Danks, and Tejeda. Give all of them spots and sink or swim with them. I am willing to sacrifice another year if I know we are really making an effort to build something for the future and not just flying by the seat of our pants and changing directions every off-season.

1. In the following order: 1. Gary Mathews, Jr.; 2. Mark DeRosa; 3. Padilla; 4. Eaton; 5. Wilkerson. I would not resign Carlos Lee. Rather, I would go after Delucci or someone like him.
2. See Evan Grant. The Rangers need to commit to developing their young pitching and that means committing at least 50 starts to a young pitcher. I would commit these starts to Tejeda. If the Rangers feel like they cannot commit a whole season of starts to Volquez next year, then they should keep him at AAA.

3. No. The Rangers need to make Michael Young and Mark Texeira the cornerstones of the franchise and do what it takes to sign both of them long term. If that means firing the manager (see Ken Rosenthal) then the manager should go.

4. Nelson Cruz has proved he should be in the mix based on the end of this year and next year’s spring training. However, I would not give him the job and make him earn it.

5. We will never know unless he is given a chance.

1. In order of importance: Vincent Padilla, Adam Eaton, Gary Matthews Jr., Mark DeRosa and Carlos Lee

2. Absolutely.

3. Yes- Bonderman and Webb

4. And if Nelson Cruz isn’t the RF next season- who is? Yes.

5. Jason Botts… I’m thinking more like the 2006 version of Casey Blake (CLE) – and that’s not a bad thing.

1 Gary Padilla Eaton DeRosa are most important. I like Lee`s bat not sure about defense .2 Yes 3 No 4 Yes 5 Yes.Roy.

Priority-wise, I think Matthews and Padilla are vital to any success. Carlos Lee has been a 6 o 7 out of 10, but I wouldn’t spend big free agent dollars on him, as he will command a large contract. Bye-Bye Brad Wilkerson and Hello Nelson Cruz in the outfield. It PAINS me to say this, but I’m getting the sense that maybe Buck might have not worked out, that the players are frustrated at not winning, and you can’t trade all the players….SO, it would have to be Buck getting the boot. I like him and think he’s the best manager around, but maybe not for a group of younger players. I could be wrong. Several weeks ago, I proclaimed that Robinson Tejada was going to be something special someday, and I believe he is living up to that praise…So YES, he needs to be a lock in the rotation. I didn’t see Padilla’s name–why not, are we looney by not paying him to be a great number two starter? He’s worth it.

We do NOT need to be trading a good, young, power hitter and gold-glove caliber fielder like Mark Texiera, so scratch that thought off your list. He plays everyday and the Bondermans of the world pitch every 5th day, so what is obvious here? Keep Tex.

Jason Botts could either be the next Ian Kinsler (hopefully), or Dave Hostetler(perish the thought). I hope he’s a power version of Ian Kinsler.

The Rangers can win next year. I keep telling myself that. And telling myself that. I love Buck, but it might be time for new blood.

1. GMJ is my clear-cut choice at the top. That’s saying a lot considering how much Texas needs starting pitchers. That being said, it doesn’t mean I don’t REALLY want to sign some of those other guys. My order would be GMJ, Padilla, Eaton, DeRosa, Lee (he’s only last, because he may require too much money, but I think he would be great back in Texas). I don’t think I would bring Wilkerson (or Hairston for that matter) back to be the bat boy…he obviously needs to be back in the NL.
2. The term “lock” is awefully strong, but, yes, I think he deserves to get a long look next year. I think that has been the problem with the Rangers – they don’t give those starters enough time in a lot of cases. Doug Davis and Chris Young are great examples…I wanted to keep both of them.

3. I don’t think I could bring myself to trade Teixeira for any one player in the majors. You can’t possibly improve too much more and you could easily set your franchise back years if the trade doesn’t work out.

4. I think Cruz could be good in the future, but I don’t think he has proved anything with his .216 average.

5. There is no way of knowing at this point. However, before drawing a comparison to Kinsler, I think I would look at Travis Hafner. The Rangers need to get him a lot of at-bats next year at the big league level. What I don’t want to do is clog the starting lineup with older players with no upside…such as Phil Nevin and Matt Stairs. Those two fall into a long line of players like Andres Galarraga, Richard Hildago and Ken Caminetti that had no business being in the lineup, because it means blocking other young hitters from developing.

Number 1- I would do what ever it takes to resign Matthews and DeRosa they defiantly help out with defense and offence. I would resign all my starting pitchers including Kip Wells. I would only resign Lee if he wanted to be a DH, or I would go after Soriano to play our out field, (it was a big mistake to trade him for Wilkerson). The Rangers’ should pay the Nationals to take him back, because he is worth nothing on this team. I would also do what it takes to resign Barajas as the catcher because Laird will not be as productive if he plays everyday. I would like to keep Hairston JR. as well for late innings and off days for the regular out fielders.

Number 2 – You could try out Tejeda next year, but make him earn the spot, don’t just give him nothing because of a few starts, besides what happen to Koranka? Tejeda, Volquez and the younger pitchers need to develop more.

Number 3- No why would you even think of trading TEX, I do believe when this contact is over he will go play for the Yankees, but keep him while you can. If you trade him for a pitcher then your taken another 100 RBI out of the team, back to the point of trading Soriano, there went 100 runs there! Instead of trading TEX why not pay Zito or Schmidt big bucks to come here, and start drafting and acquiring young pitchers like other teams do, don’t trade all the offence because then you would be like Huston, all pitching and no offence.

Number 4- Cruz is a pitiful; we might as well keep Mench and Cordero, because Lee will probably want to go to the NL where there is no DH. Then again we do have Wilkerson who is a nobody as well, or they could put Hairston in his spot.

Number 5- Who? Wasn’t he the guys who keep striking out???

Regarding our Free Agents:
We have 1 of 5 starting pitchers guaranteed, but 0 of 5 outfielders! DeRosa is our 3B vs lefties, our RF vs righties, if necessary for Cruz, who deserves to be our one position player under construction. By raising the value and lowering the risk of Blalock and Cruz, plus backing up the rest of our IF, De Rosa is our first need.

Kip Wells, believe it or not, could be our second. He’ll come almost free, serve as a safety net for Tejeda, and possibly pitch as well as any. In his last 5 starts after arm surgery, before foot injury, wasn’t his ERA 1.83 or so? His foot injury has only served to rest his arm.

Eaton next. He has been good enough to fill a spot immediately after recovering. More time could return him to legitimate ace status at the cost of a #3 starter.

Gary Matthews fills the roles of a thieving CF, lead-off leadership, a power and OB% bat! He glorifies God. That’s what money is for.

Padilla is a true # 3, and we should pay him like one.

The we should go after a true ace. Chances are we have a better chance to sign one AFTER re-signing Carlos Lee. If we trade Tex to get one (e.g. Webb), then we need 2 Carlos Lees, and we miss Tex’s defense.

A-Rod savings should cover most of that bill, no?

1. Sign all of them including LEE. Tex needs another big bat behind him. If you don’t believe me, take a good look at Tex’s numbers before & after.
2. Tejeda should be locked in.

3. No way would I trade Tex for pitching – even these elite individuals. I’d throw Hank “back” in the mix though.

4. Cruz looks like a young Juan Gonzales to me. I remember when someone thought a guy named Sosa wasn’t worth the wait.

5. Hits a ton – needs work at fielding. IDEA! Since we’re out of the hunt, why not give him the chance to succeed/fail over the next several games?

Harry W. – “The Penguin”

1)Matthews, Padilla and Eaton

3)Yes (Pitching)

4)Yes Defnse helps Pitching

5) DH or trade him for Pitching

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