So many choices. So many questions. So much hand wringing.
Do you trade him or keep him?
What would you expect to get back for him?
Should you keep him because he could be a future star?
Should you acquire that guy because he is a star and will take us to the Promised Land?
Do you go all in? If we do this trade, will this be “the year”?
If we don’t do this trade, will it be next year? Or in the near future?
Do you stand pat and settle for the playoffs and a first round exit in order to keep the potential talent that can potential take you to a potential deep playoff run in the potential future?
Or do you survey your fields and realize you have far too many acres of corn and desperately few acres of beans, and beans are what keep you alive?
Fans have a tendency to fall head over heels in love with their prospects and view any and all transaction talks with the same delight as a canker sore.
Yes, this team can win with Cole Hamels, Colby Lewis, Martin Perez, Derek Holland, and A.J. Griffin. It showed that in April, May, and June.
No, this team cannot win with Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish, Martin Perez, A.J. Griffin and Kyle Lohse. It has shown that in July.
What if we wait until late August when Colby comes back and when Derek comes back?
But what if, as we wait, the Rangers slip into third place in the American League West behind Houston and Seattle? We saw the exact same thing last year with Houston.
Would you say, that’s okay, there will be enough time in September to make a charge at a wild card or maybe a division crown once those pieces of the rotation all return, as long as we retain our prospects ?
There are a lot of mediocre pitchers out there available. Which is why they are available. And why Chris Sale isn’t.
Our general manager has a history of trading good prospect for bad pitchers. One was named Matt Garza. One was named Ryan Dempster.
He also has a history of trading good prospects for lifesavers like Cole Hamels, without whom, this team would be on the other end of the market right now as sellers.
Nobody in his right mind would advocate the Rangers trading any of its core prospects for a Garza or a Dempster, who this year go by the names of Odorizi, Moore, and Cashner, except those guys aren’t rentals.
The Rangers can certainly hang on to Profar and Gallo and Brinson et al. Put them in the lineup and, in three or four seasons, they could mature and form the core of a pretty good offense. An offense that probably won’t have the benefit of much quality pitching around them because there is precious little in the cupboard.
Yes, injuries have hurt the Rangers. But what hurts more, and deeper, and maybe fatally, might be the lack of qualified talent ready to step up and replace the injured.
So do you hold them or fold them? Do you go big or go home?
Do you hold on to the prospects or hold on to your playoff hopes?
Do you play Paul Simon’s “Slip Sliding Away”? Or Queen’s “We Are the Champions”?
Do you never ever quit? Or do you never ever win a World Series when you have the chance?
Is it, trade the kids and the wait is over? Or is it, keep the kids and wait until 2017. Or maybe 2018. Or 2019. Or 20never.
I wouldn’t want to be Jon Daniels right now. Not because he has some monumental decisions to make in the next ten days. But because he has to look his bosses in the eyes and tell them why he has no pitching depth.
The next ten days will generate a lot of questions. It’s one of those tests where there may be no right answers.
Or you may ace it.
Yu Darvish (2-1 3.15) vs. Danny Duffy (5-1 , 3.24)
Game time: 7:15 pm