Monday Morning Manager…Alexander Hamilton's Birthday

That’s right, our nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury was born on this date all the way back on Jan. 11, 1757.

Monday_Morning_Manager.jpgActually Alex was born in the Caribbean, in the British West Indies. That’s not far from the Dominican Republic where Vladimir Guerrero is from.

He ended up at Columbia University, then went to work for George Washington during the War and ended up as the country’s chief financial guy. Now he has his face on the $10 bill.

Wonder if the United States Treasury had as much money back then as the Rangers are giving Vladimir Guerrero.

Guerrero is supposedly here in Texas today to have his physical. That was the plan at least. Khalil Greene is here too after having agreed to terms over the weekend.

It was a busy weekend for the Rangers.

Anybody notice or was everybody watching football? Has any team ever looked less inspired in a playoff game than the Patriots?

Sorry… baseball…

1. The over/under on Vladimir Guerrero is 30 home runs and 90 RBI. Do you take the over or the under?

2. What’s your take on Khalil Greene?

3. Should the Rangers call it a winter and head for Arizona or is there one more move you feel they need to make?

4. Are the Angels better or worse after all the moves they’ve made this winter, as well as losing Guerrero and Darren Oliver to the Rangers.

5. What is your take on what the Mariners have done this winter?


1. Under, but not by much


3. I’m pretty happy with this roster. I would be happier if they made room for Ben Sheets

4. Way worse

5. Pretty dang salty. I got a gut feeling they are going far this fall.

1. Under – I like the signing though.
2. Greene is the type of low risk ($) / potential high reward player that the Rangers need to pursue. If he comes close to his offensive and defensive “glory days” it would be a huge coup for this team.
3. One more move, a low risk SP to possibly increase the depth/competition. Colby Lewis or Doug Davis or ?
4. Worse – they have lost more than they gained.
5. The Mariners scare me…

1. I’ll take the over. Maybe it’s the optimist inside of me but I think that if he’s healthy then there is no reason that Vlad shouldn’t reach 30 home runs and 90 RBIs. Of course the question is whether or not that Vlad will be healthy for the majority of the year or not. Vlad has proven that he can hit in Arlington. He has also proven to be productive against playoff teams like Boston and New York. He should be highly motivated to go up against his old club the Angels. I think we will see great things come out of this deal and it wouldn’t shock me to see that 2nd year mutual option vest.

2. High upside and little downside. The Rangers utility job is pretty small and not your typical utility job. Unless an injury occurs then I don’t see Green getting much playing time. He will be surounded by great clubhouse guys with Kinsler/Young/Hamilton/Andrus. Green has produced in the past and he will be in a hitters paradise. Solid signing for JD and Co.

3. The job is never complete and JD will always be looking for more ways to improve the club. However, I do suspect that their offseason is winding down with maybe one or two smaller moves ahead. The team will probably sign a backup catcher and maybe sign a decent veteran starting pitcher. I don’t think the Rangers will make any other flashy moves. In other words… they won’t be signing Ben Sheets.

4. The Angels would have to be the loser of the offseason. Their only addition is Rodney and that move makes little sense to me. They lost a key bullpen guy in Oliver, a huge part of their lineup in Figgins and Vlad. They lost the ace of their staff in Lackey. It’s hard to imagine that the team is done and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them sign a guy like Bedard or Sheets. They can’t really be done this offseason can they?

5. It will be interesting to see how everything pans out for them. They have improved with Figgins and Lee. Not crazy about the Bradley addition or trade for Kotchman. Their lineup isn’t all that scary at first glance, but they have a lot of high on base percentage guys and should be able to play small ball to manufacture runs. Their 1-2 punch in Felix and Lee is frightening. The rest of their rotation is nothing to write home about but if they add another top of the rotation guy then watch out!

An interesting read for Rangers fans

“A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.” — Alexander Hamilton — Was Secretary Hamilton a clairvoyant discussing the Texas Rangers front office when he wrote that?

1. — I’m going to take the under, Vlad isn’t going to be hitting off Ranger pitchers anymore – which will decrease his numbers (I’m perfectly serious about that). When he signed his contact with the Angels, I remember reading that several pundits thought he’d be “done” by the end of his contact based on his health at that point – after watching him last season I think they were right. However, I do think this is a good move by the Rangers, because even if he only betters his numbers from last season slightly (say 20 HR’s, 70 RBI’s) that a huge improvement over Andruw Jones in the same spot last season.

2. — I like it – he’s a decent defender, has some pop in his bat – nice signing.

3. — I’d feel a little better if they’d pick up another solid, proven, starting pitcher. Rich Harden’s medical history scares me, which leaves Scott Feldman as the only reliable starter in the rotation. Don’t get me wrong, I love our young pitchers – but they are still on the learning curve (e.g not “proven” by any stretch of the imagination) and probably can’t be counted on for consistency just yet. Would be nice to have a pitcher – even at the back of the rotation, to eat up some innings while giving the team an opportunity to get a W.

4. — It’s hard to say what kind of team the Angels will be in 2010. Not only losing Vlad and Oliver to the Rangers, but John Lackey to the Red Sox and Chone Figgins to M’s – on paper they certainly don’t like the favorites to win the division – but then again they do have the best manager in the AL (in my opinion) who knows how to use the talent that he has on hand. Consider all the injuries they had last season, and they still won the division pretty easily.

5. — Are you referring to the fact that they’ve probably made themselves the favorite to win the division (in my never humble opinion) The bottom line is that it’s always about pitching, and the M’s probably have the best in the division at this point: a very solid bullpen – and 2 money-in-the bank ace quality pitchers at the top their rotation (and please – let’s remember the Rangers won 2 division titles with only 2 starting pitchers and a great bullpen – how can we forget “Sele and Helling – then start the shelling”). I’m still not too sure about Seattle’s offense – but if Lee and King Felix don’t allow the opposition to score, then M’s only need to score 1 run to win alot of games 1-0. Here’s something that strikes me as interesting about their manager, former Ranger coach Don Wakamatsu: it only took him 1 season to move the Mariners from a last place team (2008: 61-101) to a team that only missed beating out the Rangers for second place by a couple of games. Meanwhile it took the Rangers manager Ron Washington, 3 seasons to get his team to finish over .500 – and arguably he had alot more talent on his squad than Wakamatsu had. Just wondering out loud.

1. With Vlad’s recent medical history it’s hard to know…but because he came on strong at the end of the season I’ll say over but just barely.
2. Greene’s signing means the end of Inglet and Arias. Boy Joaquin’s stock has really dropped hasn’t it?
3. We stock piled a ton of pitching. I think we ought to go with our young guys but I would really feel better if we came up with a guy like Ben Sheets.
4. I think the Angels were net losers and the Mariners and Rangers net winners. We’ll see.
5. I fear the Mariners…I think the winter/spring should last another couple of weeks before we head down to Arizona (lest we get suprised!)

1. It is very hard to say what Vlad’s numbers will be? I guess that will depend on his health. If Vlad can stay in the lineup and be healthy and productive like the Rangers are hoping then I don’t think your 30 Homeruns and 90 RBI’s are not a bad goal for Vlad to reach this season. Let’s also remeber what his career numbers are at the temple they are outstanding. I also hope that because of Vlad that the guys batting around him will benefit from Vlad’s presence and see pitches they might normally see. With those guys are Vlad being Josh, Ian and Neslon Cruz I hopoe for big years at the plate for them too. But I am hoping for the over and not the under because I want Vlad to take out his frustration and the Angels and the rest of the league.
2. I like the addition of Khalil Greene. Greene can play Shortstop, Third and probably even second. I do think that Greene or Joe Inglett will be battling for the middle infielder spot on the team. Not that I have anything against spider Arias or Esteban German but we need a player with some good expirence and I think that both Greene and or Inglett can be the guy that fills the role left by Omar Vizquel. And maybe Greene will turn his game around and make a difference when he is in the lineup. A couple years back Greene hit 27 homeruns and almost had 100 RBI’s so he just has to get some confidence back at the plate. He can play defense pretty well if I recall.
3. The Rangers should not be done. They either need to get another starting pitcher. Jon Garland, Erik Bedard or Ben Sheets Etc. or get get a righthanded hitting first baseman and then I think they are done and ready for spring training.
4. I think the Angels are still the team to beat in the division right now. But if the Rangers improve and get better this season and get there hitting ways back to go with the pitching the Rangers will be right there with the Angels and with the Mariners moves as well. I think this season will be a fun one to watch. But as to your question does loosing Vlad and Darren Oliver hurt the Angels I would say yes. But they lost even more than those 2 guy they also lost Figgins and John Lackey too. I think each of these 4 guys were key guys to why the Angels won so many games over the years and they will be missed. They lost there lead off hitter who is there table setter and one the peskiest players in the league. They lost there #1 ace pitcher since he walked in the door. They are losing there most dependable bullpen guy all be it on the old side of his career in Darren Oliver. Although how many left handed relievers have pitched better than he has over the last 3 years not many. And then Vlad. Matsui is a very good player but he has just as many health concerns as Vlad does in my opinion. Until last season Vlad was very productive and he did alright not great last season. But in the playoffs he carried the Angels offense as far as he could by himself. I think everybody forgot how good he was hitting in the playoffs because that was the Vlad of old not the injured Vlad we have seen over the last 2 season. I think the 4 guys the Angels lost can weaken the Angels enough the where the Rangers or Mariners can over take them this year. If the Angels had a heart the 4 players gone might have been right in the middle of it. They will still be a solid team as usual just more beatable than before.
5. What do I think the Mariners moves have done for them? Good question. Getting Figgins give them a solid third baseman not great but solid over there and with he and Ichiro at the top of that lineup that is going to be tough. They also got Cliff Lee he is a healthy upgrade from Erik Bedard. But they lost Silva so there top 2 starters are great but what after that. Milton Bradley sharing time with Griffey at DH I don’t think that will sit well with Milton. They choose to trade for Casey Kotchman he is a very good defensive first baseman but Russell Branyan had a great year at the plate for them. So I would say you take a step back there. I think the Angels and Rangers are still better but it will be a good 3 them race that may not be decided until late September. We will also have to see how much better the young players the A’s have do they finished last year pretty strong. And they have good young pitching as well.

1. Under, though I think he’ll have a productive season.

2. He’s got what you want out of utility infielder from a defensive standpoint, although he’ll have to take a crash course at second base. Offensively you think of utility guys as more of the speedy, get on base type. Those are not Green’s strong suites, but he does have some nice power. All in all, I think it’s a great signing from a talent standpoint.

3. They need to add an affordable back up catcher who can play 90 games if you need him too, but not complain if he only gets into 40. I kind of like Jose Molina, but I don’t know what kind of money he’s looking for. I think Pudge/Washington set the bar pretty high and it will take a while for reality to set in that most catchers in their mid 30’s aren’t going to get similar deals. Barajas would be another solid option.

4. Losing Lackey hurts, but they have Kazmir for a full season. Matsui replaces Guerrero so that’s a wash. They’re going to feel the loss of Oliver in the bullpen combined with Arredondo being lost to surgery. I don’t think they’re as good.

5. If you’re an M’s fan you’ve got to love the legitimate one-two punch at the top of that rotation with Hernandez and Lee. The Rowland/Smith kid looks a possibly decent #3. He, Snell and whoever ends up as the 5th starter are certain to be helped by that ballpark.

Their offense starts off like a wildfire with Ichiro and Figgins setting the table, and then quickly fizzles. Jose Lopez led this team in RBI last season. He also hit .272 and got on base at a .303 clip. Kotchman is a pretty weak stick for a first baseman. We all know what Milton Bradley is capable of, but trying to keep him and Ken Griffey Jr. healthy with only one DH spot is going to be a juggling act to say the least. Beltre is gone. Franklyn Gutierrez is a difference maker in CF, but not an impact bat. They’re not going to get a lot of offense from shortstop Jack Wilson or whoever they roll out at Catcher.

Overlooked factor: They’re going to be the sexy pick, if not the odds on favorite to win the division based on the addition of Cliff Lee alone, but if you factor out the 216 innings at a 2.83 ERA provided by Jarrod Washburn and Eric Bedard in their 35 combined starts last season, Lee’s acquisition looks a lot more of a break even move than a vast improvement.

My summation: The Seattle Mariners are the San Francisco Giants of the American League. They have a very good pitching staff that will seem even better because of the park they play in and they will struggle mightily to score runs because they simply lack productive bats in the middle of the order. Ichiro, Figgins and Bradley are all high OBP types, but no one else in the line up get on base much, and that’s going to hurt them offensively just as much as the lack of power. They are a quintessential small-ball club. You can’t count them out because of their pitching staff, but for them to make the playoffs, Gutierrez needs to have a break out season, which isn’t out of the question, and the productive version of Milton Bradley needs coincide with the healthy enough to play in 100+ games version of Milton Bradley. If neither of those things happens, their pitching staff could be good enough to keep them in the race until they acquire an impact bat at or before the deadline.

Did you guys notice that when Guerro and Greene go on the 40 man someone has to come off. That could be interesting. I just sat down and tried to do a 25 man…holy smoke…we’ve got a ton of pitching!

Arias seems like the most likely to come off the 40.

1. Slightly under on HR, over on RBI. I think he will post around an .850 OPS and be a solid clean-up hitter for this team. Great addition at a reasonable cost. Guerrero is probably worth 1.5-2 wins (WAR).

2. Solid addition. Low risk, high reward acquisition.

3. I’d like to see Texas add Ben Sheets, Erik Bedard, or Jon Garland (preferably Garland, given the makeup of this team).

4. The Angels are worse. Swapping Matsui for Vlad is a relative wash. But losing Lackey, Oliver, and Figgins will probably result in a couple of wins lost. They also outperformed their expected winning percentage last year (based on runs score and allowed, they should have won around 87 games), so I think they are probably an 85 win team right now.

5. Outside of the Morrow trade, which was horrible, they have made a bunch of outstanding acquisitions. But, like the Angels last year, they also dramatically outperformed their expected winning percentage based on runs scored and runs allowed (75 wins). So while I think that adding Bradley, Figgins, and Lee are big acquisitions, they probably will only get them to the 83-85 win territory, without some luck. And they don’t have a whole lot of players who are capable of dramatically outperforming their career numbers. I think they are a safe bet to be a winning team, but I think they basically just closed the gap with LA.

Ultimately, I think Texas, LA, and Seattle are all around 85-92 win teams as currently constructed. Their place within that range will be determined by how certain key players perform. I think Texas has the highest ceiling of the three teams, given how many high beta players they have (Hamilton, Davis, Guerrero, Harden, Holland, Feliz, etc). I think Texas is a safe bet to win 85 games regardless, but has the potential to be a 95+ win team with reasonable health. I think LA and Seattle have lower ceilings, but they are also safe bets to be winning teams as well. I think any of those three teams could win the division (and the wildcard for that matter).

1. Under on the HRs, but 90 RBIs are about right.

2. Will he flake out?

3. I still believe they can pick up another veteran starter on a “make good” one year deal.

4. I think they just made it easier for both the Rangers and the Mariners. Third place is a possibility for them.

5. Definitely the team the Rangers will be competing with for the division.

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