Monday Morning Manager…Welcome to Las Vegas

The Rangers are usually quiet at the winter meetings but they struck first on Sunday when they traded Gerald Laird to the Tigers for Minor League pitchers Guillermo Moscoso and Carlos Melo.

Moscoso is a 25-year-old right-hander from Venezuela who was 5-4 with a 2.70 ERA in 21 games, including 12 starts, between Class A Lakeland and Double A Erie this past season. Moscoso, who can both start and pitch in relief, is 2-1 with an 8.36 ERA in eight games in the Venezuelan Winter League.

A Detroit official described him as a pitcher with a 91-93 mile per hour fastball with an average breaking ball and a developing changeup. It’s highly unlikely that he’ll compete for a job on the Major League level in Spring Training.

Melo, 17, is a 6-foot-3 right-hander from the Dominican Republic who has yet to pitch in the United States. He was 3-3 with a 5.14 ERA in 14 games in the Dominican Summer League with 61 strikeouts and 20 walks in 49 innings. The report on him is that he has an “electric” fastball.

1. What’s your take on the Gerald Laird trade in light that the Rangers did not get a Major League-ready pitcher?

2. Who should be the Rangers Opening Day catcher?

3. Do you think it’s imperative that the Rangers should come away from Las Vegas with a legitimate starting pitcher for their rotation.

4. Are you surprised that the Rangers are sitting out of the free agent market?

5. Should Al Oliver be elected to the Hall of Fame?



1. Would’ve liked to have seen a pitcher who was ready for big league action opening day, but Moscoso could easily reach the majors in ’09. I think he’d be on the fast track from the bullpen, but supposedly wants to start.

2. Tough call, but I’m going to say Teagarden based on his defense and that I think Salty is more like than him to be traded. Wouldn’t have a problem with Salty starting at all, but I feel like Ramirez is the third option and probably destined to be a successful big league DH.

3. No, but groundwork needs to be laid for such a deal. Maybe Boston ups their offer since Veritek declined arbitration.

4. No. We keep hearing that payroll is going to be about the same. If they spend any money in the FA market, it will probably be in the bullpen.

5. No. Great hitter, but not HOF caliber. If Rice doesn’t get in then it’s that much harder to make a case for Oliver.

1. By himself, Laird wasn’t worth a ML-ready starter (ask the Reds). Glad that JD got what he could – basically a reliever and a guy (Melo) that could have a higher ceiling as a starter – and helped clear the logjam at C.

2. It will be interesting to see who starts if TT or Salty isn’t traded. I’ll say Salty, because I think that he is going to get showcased for a trade at the ASB. Of course the Red Sox could still help us make the choice by coughing up Buchholz…

3. No, but I do think it is imperative that the team adds a legitimate starting pitcher (if not two) for their rotation before the start of the season through trades if we aren’t going to sign a FA.

4. Not really, but I think the team should add one, depending on the term and the price. The team is still pitching poor, and if the team doesn’t add more ML-ready pitching this winter, the date for legitimately competing won’t be 2010, it’ll be 2011 or later. As currently constructed I don’t see how the 2009 rotation is a significant upgrade over 2008’s disappointing group.

5. Nope.

– briant

1) Not surprising considering the 40 man roster issue. Who will take the place of Laird? Or will it be Moscoso? Does have to be protected?
2) Teagarden
3) You can never have too many arms that can actually get someone out….
4) Not surprised… Come on – Tom Hicks is the owner.
5 The Ranger Hall of Fame – Yes. the MLB Hall of Fame – No Way.

Moscoso is on the 40.

1. Right now, I’m kind of underwhelmed. I don’t mind getting minor leaguers, but I’d have preferred a couple of players who were closer to being ready – an A ball pitcher and a teen-ager are not worth getting too verbose about at this point (of course Minnesota fans may have said the same thing about the Liriano – Pierzynski trade).

2. Teagarden

3. Nice – yes, imperative – no. I still have no reason trust Jon Daniel’s “off season” pitching trades.

4. Nope – Tom Hicks seems delighted that the low budget Devil Rays made it to the World Series this past season, it now gives him a legitimate excuse to shrink the budget.

5. Probably not

1. I think Laird’s value was a lot lower than most of us ever expected. We where probably never going to get a decent major-league ready player in return for him alone, and this is probably a pretty good return when you take that into consideration. Moscoso looks like a good arm who might end up a cog in the bullpen, considering his injury history, yet also has potential to be much more if all goes well, and the second player, Melo makes a great wildcard. I think this is a good trade for Texas.

2. Too early to say IMO – have to get through spring training first. Salty’s tearing it up in winter league and is obviously 100% healthy again, but Tea still likely has the edge going into the spring because of his September performance.

3. There’s a great anwser to that question (and much, much more) from prospect guru Kevin Goldstein in a Q&A session over at Baseball Time in Arlington:

4. I was initially, but it’s probably for the best. If they don’t have the money to go after the players worth going after, then they shouldn’t participate.

5. I claim the 5th.

1. What’s your take on the Gerald Laird trade in light that the Rangers did not get a Major League-ready pitcher?

Better for the Tigers. Rangers had one proven catcher and three prospects.

2. Who should be the Rangers Opening Day catcher?

Teagarden should have the edge over Salty who just might be another Botts. (Shudder)

3. Do you think it’s imperative that the Rangers should come away from Las Vegas with a legitimate starting pitcher for their rotation.

I would like to think so – but what have they got to offer? Certainly not big money. Probably better to stick to the development plan.

4. Are you surprised that the Rangers are sitting out of the free agent market?

Not really.

5. Should Al Oliver be elected to the Hall of Fame?
Al was a solid player his whole career. There are players not as good in the HOF. However they played for the Yankees. I doubt he will be elected.

1. What’s your take on the Gerald Laird trade in light that the Rangers did not get a Major League-ready pitcher?

A 25 year old still in double a and a teenager who hasn’t pitched in country yet? Surely there was something better out there, i think the trade was a rush job.

2. Who should be the Rangers Opening Day catcher?

Teagarden has proven it at the major league level, albeit only in sample sizes. As long as either one develop into an everyday very good back stop i’ll be happy. But my first choice thus far is Taylor.

3. Do you think it’s imperative that the Rangers should come away from Las Vegas with a legitimate starting pitcher for their rotation.

Like was said before, our owner now has his justification to be cheap, but honestly I am more than willing to watch a few more seasons of mediocrity if it eventually leads to a world series championship.

4. Are you surprised that the Rangers are sitting out of the free agent market?

No, Park and millwood (not that i think Millwood is even on the same level of suck as Park was) has turned Hicks off of big money for big free agents, but adding a few project arms like JD has done would be nice.

5. Should Al Oliver be elected to the Hall of Fame?

There is probably more deserving players out there. but a career .300 hitter with 200 + home runs is borderline.

1. Doubtful we could’ve gotten any more for a cather everyone knew we had to trade to make room for the younger guys. No way we get a young major leaghue starter for him.
2. If Salty has improved as much on defense as some of the reports say, he is our starting catcher. I don’t see TT as an everyday catcher at this point of his career.
3. I think it’s important for us to trade either Milwood or Padilla and get one of our young guns ready.
4. Just hope we can geta FA 3rd baseman.
5. No. I hope the baseball HOF never gets as watered down as the NFL’s.

1. I’m happy with the deal. Mocoso has some disgusting k rate as a reliever, and Melo looks to have some upside down the road. I don’t know what people could be expecting in return for Laird. This is solid.

2. The one who can most effectively help the young pitchers. Teagarden/veteran NRI

3. No. It would be nice, but they don’t need to rush into anything.

4. I don’t think they are really sitting out. I think they’re biding their time until 1. more salary is moved or 2. a good opportunity comes along.

5. No clue

1) I am glad we got pitching but, i would have liked to have gotten someone who could help us next year. Not sure it could be done with Laird alone. Everyone else sees pitching as a commodity, we don’t. Did we ask for Galarraga????
2) Teagarden if healthy is going to be a stud. Salty may develop into a good hitter, but i am not sure why he insisted on playing catcher. His defense is horrendous, can he play third????
3) Yes i do but who do we trade to get a pitcher? Again, no one else trades their pitching prospects as we do and have done.
4) No, but why not go get Sheets and or Greg Maddux. Surely Greg could do his brother a favor and Sheets evidently likes our new pitching coach or he wouldn’t be talking to us, or maybe it has always been his dream to pitch for the Dallas Rangers…..doubtful.
5) Al was a great line drive hitter, he didn’t hit for too much power though. If he played in this new stadium he probably has 400 homers. So everyone always rants about the character issue. Al was and is a character guy, so let him in if Rose isn’t going in. You can’t have it both ways either it counts or it doesn’t. Put Rose in as a player and put the truth on the plate. “The all time hits leader, Charlie Hustle. Helped his team, a true competitor. Banished from the game for betting on baseball, never to coach, manager, or lead a team. Shamed himself and the game, but he was truly Charlie Hustle. Put shoeless joe in at the same time….

Salary dump

1. Anything for someone everyone knew you needed to, and were going to, dump is positive.
2. Salty I think still goes somewhere this offseason, then Teagarden and Ramirez stay and Teagarden starts with Ramirez DH’ing, especially if Blalock is flipped for pitching.
3. I honestly think its more imperative to move either Padilla or Millwood. They are not going to be here next year, so flip the one now you think will not increase his value during the season, and then flip the other one at the ASB. Doing this should by default net you a pitcher who starts. Sheets if on a one year or incentive deal wouldnt hurt tho.
4. Im not that surprised at all. I think they do have some interest in the free agent market, but Hicks is dead set on not being the trend setter again.
5. I cant see how he is a HOF’er. Hell of a player, just not enough to get him in.

1. The Rangers have been fielding trade offers for Gerald Laird since the 2007 all-star break. So to say this is s surprise no it is not a surprise. I don’t know what else we were going to get for Laird. Everyone including Gerald knew this day was coming. It also looks like these two picthers might have something down the road. So I say great know we don’t have to hear Laird gripe about playing time anymore. He will get all he wants in Detroit. I like both Teagarden, and Salty. i think that they both have a lot higher ceilings than laird any ways. Both will be better hitters with more power. I think Taylor Teagarden is going to be the Guy the Rangers want to win the catching job although Salty has the makings of a great hitter if he can put it all together. I say keep both Salty and Teagarden and make Max Rameriz a DH/ first baseman. Rameriz has lots of power.
2. I don’t know off hand who should start. I think we need to see who is still here when the off-season is over. Salty has more big league time with our pitchers but i think within the organization Taylor Teagarden calls a better game. I don’t know really but I think we are in good shape either way. But it will be either Teagarden or Salty. Rameriz will really have to work on the defensive part of his game. But as far as hitting they are all strong. Each of them have showed us at times that they are major league Ready.
3. I think it would be nice to sign Ben Sheets or trade Nelson Cruz for Edwin Jackson. But will the Rangers do any of these things I hope so. If they had to trade Millwood or Padilla to sign Sheets ok. If you have to trade Cruz for Jackson in a heart beat. I like Edwin Jackson. He could be a steal. I hate that the Rangers are Reluctant to trade Nelson cruz for a young pitcher like Jackson who is major league ready with expirence. They are about the same age and frankly we could use a young veteran pitcher like Jackson. And if you trade for Jackson you don’t need to sign a free agent pitcher. That is just my opinion. Jackson was definately a part of what the Rays did this year. And aonther thing he has nasty stuff when he is throwing well. He can also go to the bullpen when more of our younger pitchers start arriving to the majors. Just a thought.

4. No this has been the normal Rangers off-Season not a lot of action for sure. I wish they would do something. At least they ahve finally traded Gerald Laird and we won’t have to hear about that anymore. So come on let’s go and have some movement for goodness sake. I do like that the Rangers were talking to Ben Sheets. That is a step in the right direction.

5. Al Oliver was a good player but is he a hall-of-famer I don’t know. I remember him a little bit. I had more Larry Parrish, Pete O’Brien and Buddy Bell Memories as a kid in the order than Al Oliver memories. But you could always count on Al Oliver to hit and be a solid outfielder for you. So if he does get in then he is obvouisly was deserving and has waited long enough. I used to love to watch LP hit homeruns as a kid. LP was my Favorite Rangers until Nolan and Pudge came along and Pudge atill has the honor of being my favorite Ranger today although Michael Young is getting up there. Keep up the good work Michael.

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