With the news of Theo Epstein leaving the Cubs and wanting to look for another challenge, to build another team into a winner, naturally the hopes run high in Rangers Nation that he somehow works his magic on the Texas Rangers.
He broke the curse in Boston. He broke the drought in Chicago. The Rangers could use some of that. The glory years of this franchise, few as they were, are already starting to fade away as the Rangers head into what will be their fifth losing season in a row.
Interestingly, I ran across an article that Gerry Fraley wrote in The Dallas Morning News nearly two years ago, on November 14, 2018, with the title, “Jon Daniels has made 12 trades with Theo Epstein. How many has the Rangers GM actually won?”
As Fraley wrote at the time, “Using the Wins Above Replacement metric, Epstein has had the advantage. The players he obtained have a 21.8 edge in WAR over what the Rangers received in the deals.”
Here is a quick recap of the trades:
2006. The Rangers traded Bryan Corey to Boston form Luis Mendez. The decision went to Boston, who got +1.8 WAR more for their player than the Rangers.
2007. The Rangers traded Eric Gagne for David Murphy. Rangers win, +10.5 WAR.
2008. The Rangers traded Wes Littleton for Beau Vaughan. Neither player every played in the major leagues for their new team. Draw.
2010. Texas traded Jarrod Saltalamacchia to Boston for Chris McGuiness, Michael Thomas, and Roman Mendez. Boston wins with +4.5 WAR.
2012. Epstein is now with the Cubs. They made two separate trade deadline deals. The Rangers acquired Geovany Soto for Jake Brigham in one deal. In the other, they got Ryan Dempster for Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva. Cubs won with a combined +16.3 WAR.
2012. The Cubs traded Brigham back to the Rangers for Barret Loux. Neither player played in the major leagues. Decision, draw.
2013. The Rangers traded Carl Edwards, Justin Grimm, Neil Ramirez and Mike Olt for Matt Garza. Decision, Cubs win with +5.2 WAR.
2015. The Rangers dealt Spencer Patton to the Cubs for Frandy De La Rosa, who they then dealt to the Giants for Clayton Blackburn. Decision, draw.
2018. The Rangers traded Jesse Chavez to the Cubs for Tyler Thomas. A few days later they traded Cole Hamels to Chicago for Eddie Butler, Rollie Lacy and Alexander Ovalles. To help offset the $20 million option the Cubs would have to pay on Hamels, the Rangers took Drew Smyly from the Cubs and his $7 million for a player to be named later. Combined, all three deals, the Cubs won with +4.5 WAR.
Time after time, trade after trade, Theo Epstein got the better of Jon Daniels. Here’s hoping they make one more trade.