High and outside. 25 comments


Pitchers and catchers report in a few days. Full squad workouts are about a week away.

And Jake Arrieta doesn’t have a team. Neither do J. D. Martinez, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Alex Cobb or Greg Holland. Nor do Edwardo Nuñez, Lance Lynn, or Jonathan Lucroy. Andrew Cashner is still teamless. So is John Lackey and Jeremy Hellickson and A.J. Griffin.

Some big-name first basemen like Chris Carter, Adam Lind, Logan Morrison, and Mark Reynolds have yet to sign with anyone. Neither has Rangers-favorite Mike Napoli. I suspect his career is done.

infielders Brandon Phillips and Neil Walker are outside looking in. As are Stephen Drew and Mike Moustakas. (But Adam Rosales has a minor-league deal with the Phillies, and smiling about it.)

Outfielders are still looking for work, too. Good outfielders like Carlos Gonzalez and the aforementioned J. D. Martinez. Melky Cabrera is finding a contract much harder to locate than steroids. Jose Bautista, who is used to begin hit, is hitting a brick wall (justice considering he arrogantly demanded a five-year $125 contract last year which fell on deaf ears and now, a year later, is probably done). Carlos Gomez is out on the streets too.

So many good players are realizing the system is changing. Teams aren’t willing to throw around stupid money to mediocre players. They aren’t paying for players in their 30s to perform like they did in their 20s.

Yes, Hosmer will get his money. So, will Arrieta. And J. D. Martinez. They have huge contracts in front of them. They have just chosen not to sign them yet. Scott Boras has chosen to take to the court of public opinion to run up their salaries. That tactic might have worked in the past, with fans putting pressure on teams to sign these guys at all costs. But front offices are smarter. They will save the huge contracts to the fewer and fewer guys who really deserve them. And there simply aren’t enough teams “going for it” to create bidding wars.

The super stars will still have the Brinks trucks backed up to their front doors, once they decide to open the gate and let the truck in. They are waiting for a bigger truck to drive by that isn’t coming. You can put on the tux but that doesn’t mean the prom queen is coming to your door. Their sights are set too high.

The market has corrected itself. You’re going to have the haves and the have nots, relatively speaking if you can call anyone with a guaranteed salary of more than half a million dollars a year a have not.

Really, it’s the middle-tier player who is going to suffer. The elite will be compensated for a level commensurate to their performance. But why throw Shin-Soo Choo money at a guy when there are ten guys behind him who can contribute almost comparably, for so much less?

At $20 million this season, is Shin-Soo Choo going to produce 40 times better than Willie Calhoun, who is going to earn 40 times less? Or Nomar Mazara, who will make slightly more than Calhoun?

Not to pick on Choo, but that’s the reality of the situation. For a small fraction of the cost, you can get near the production level.

I could have a guy paint my entire house for $10,000, and get 3 self storage units from over here at the same time. Or for $1,000 another guy will paint everything but the front door.

Players, and their agents, are in for a new world order when it comes to salaries. Just like in the real world, the middle class is shrinking.

Spring training starts in less than a week.

But not for a lot of guys who’ve chosen not to play.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Would love to see Carlos Gonzalez in a Ranger uni.

    • von_todwin

      You answered my question, so I’ll answer yours. No I don’t consider Darvish “top of the line,” because I consider that to be about 6-10 pitchers. But my point is that I haven’t been saying that, or “one of the best”–closest is saying he was potentially deserving of an All-Star berth this past year, since at the point I was saying that, he was. Generally I consider him to be very good, and don’t find his contract too surprising.

      But my problem, and the reason I tend to react strongly to your posts, is when you’re condescending to posts you disagree with, since they typically haven’t actually said the thing you’re disagreeing with.

      • JacobMcCandles

        You might want to reread the posts. I think you will find that what you are saying doesn’t apply to me and certainly the subject matter that was at hand. Seeing my avatar seems to predispose you to your retorts, and for me anyways Darvish does not make my top ten, my apologies if you feel condescended.

      • dearmidol

        I agree on the six to ten true top of the lines. But I don’t think Darvish was deserving on an All-Star selection last season. He was a quota pick. The only Ranger who deserved it was Elvis, and unfortunately he played at a position where there were two or three other shortstops above him. So they legally had to pick a Ranger. The only one to choose was Darvish. Hamels was injured at the time. And Odor was hitting .103.

        • von_todwin

          Sure, it was definitely debatable–I had felt strongly about it a week or two before the selections were finalized (or at least that it was a toss-up between him and 1-2 others), then Darvish had a bad showing or two, so I felt less strongly hah. Just meant that, for my part, calling him an All-Star was the most grandiose claim I’ve made about him in a while.

          But Odor, man, talk about robbery. That snub stunk.

        • JacobMcCandles

          I think I could name 15 better SPs than Darvish

  • von_todwin

    I think it’d be nice to pick up Cobb or Lynn. Even if the idea is to flip a lot of this year’s signed pitchers (or especially if that’s the idea), we’re still going to need a lot of new pitchers soon. Either would seem like a decent option to have locked up for a bit.

    • Gregor_S

      I’m with you, and I don’t quite follow JD’s reasoning in saying the Rangers won’t be looking at top of the market pitchers this year. It’s not as if they have any highly touted pitchers in their minor league system who’ll be ready next year or the year after. The only thing I can think of is that he thinks there will be a better crop of FA pitchers available next year. I doubt that will include Kershaw though — no way the Dodgers are going to let him get away.

      And if the Rangers were to sign Cobb or Lynn or better yet Arrieta that would mean that if the top of the rotation guys for the Astros and Angels all trip over their dogs the Rangers might actually contend this year. They already have one pretty good starter in Hamels, and their offense isn’t bad (though they do have defensive problems at 2nd, LF, and RF).

      As far as Darvish goes, I agree he’s not among the top 6-10 now and hasn’t been since his TJ surgery, but he was runner-up for the Cy in 2013 so a lot of supposedly knowledgeable people rated him even higher than 6-10 then. In the unlikely event he returns to his pre-TJ form the Cubs will have gotten a bargain.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Why waste money on any of those guys……you could sign Arrieta and chances are still pretty good we would be 4th best, This is the first yr in awhile where JD is actually playing it smart…unfortunately its late….this team will not sniff a division win in the next 5+ years…..why waste money…put it away and make your splash when the stadium opens.

        • Gregor_S

          Well yes, saving money is what it’s about. But the new stadium opens in 2020 and if you turn away the fans this year and next it makes it harder to get them back. I agree that getting Arrieta wouldn’t seem to be enough to make the Rangers a contender but you never know in baseball. Who would have expected the Twins and Brewers to do what they did in 2017? If the Rangers were to add a second top of the line guy to go along with Hamels they’d have a shot if the favorites stumble (not saying that’s likely, just that it’s possible and happens often enough). With the rotation they have now they really don’t have a chance barring some miraculous performances from the new additions.

          • JacobMcCandles

            That is the beauty of BB…and the hope of Spring. I’m just willing to forego a couple of years to come back with a bang…..also not quite sure what Hamels has left in the tank. It would surprise me if he won 15. And of course I feel like the Astros have assembled the best MLB team that we have seen in quite awhile. The only thing that could stop them in the AL is Cleveland’s starting staff.

          • Gregor_S

            The irony is that it’s Darvish who allowed you to claim the Astros are the best MLB team we’ve seen in quite awhile. If the Dodgers had started Kershaw in game 7 who knows people might be saying that about them.

            Yes the Astros are a very good team. But so are several others in the AL including not just Cleveland but the Angels, Yankees, and Boston. I’d say the Astros are a slight favorite, unless Keuchel reverts to his 2016 form.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Would not include the Angels and Boston in that conversation…good yes, but Cleve,Stros,Yanks are the elite of AL….Were you taking a shot at Darvish? Lol. If you look at historical data. Not only are the Stros the fav they are one of the best teams ever….now that all paper….and there are scissor teams abound. Keuchel and McCullers both pitched less than 140 innings last yr, had Verlander for 2 months….and didn’t even have Cole……sheesh

          • dearmidol

            The Astros won the World Series, you can’t take that away. But if a ball bounces differently in the Yankees series, they don’t make it.

            If a ball is swung at and missed in the Dodgers series, they don’t win it.

            I don’t think the Astros will repeat for the mere reason that it’s very hard and they certainly didn’t dominate the post-season. They barely survived it.

            Not taking anything away from them. But I don’t automatically give the AL pennant to them. The AL West, yes. No doubt about it.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Yep of course……but if you dissect that roster,,,no team is better in MLB

          • JacobMcCandles

            LOL….lot of ifs

          • WhoKnowscs

            When 2017 started the sports pundits were already forecasting a Cubs/Indians Rematch. Then the season happened and neither made it. The same crowd is saying the same about the Astros now. Let’s see how the season plays out.

          • JacobMcCandles

            And the Cubs and Indians were both sucessfull….LOL

        • von_todwin

          I was thinking from the standpoint that when we’re rolling again, it will be good to have an established pitcher with some momentum on the team.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Yep just not now

  • GoRangers23
  • GoRangers23
    • JacobMcCandles

      ????

      • GoRangers23

        This is something that Emily posted that was probably on her Facebook page.

  • WhoKnowscs

    I wonder, of the remaining free agents, who doesn’t have Scott Boras as their agent?