Everybody is talking about trades the Rangers need to make. This pitcher or that one. Or maybe a catcher. Suddenly so many holes to fill.
The Rangers need to make a trade for October. For deep October. Something to get them to the promised land. It’s all about October.
But the month they really need to be worried about, the month Daniels actually has to build the team for, is November.
Because November is when the voters in Arlington decide if they want to approve giving billionaires a billion dollars for a new stadium to replace a perfectly good stadium that has one minor flaw. It’s uninhabitable for most people after June.
So the usual pressures on a general manager to trade prospects for major leaguers has an added layer for Jon Daniels.
If he does nothing, the gravitational force surrounding his team probably causes them to miss the playoffs. After all, right now he has one quality starting pitcher in Hamels and half a quality starter (five innings anyone?) in Darvish, who requires four innings of work from a bullpen that would perform best if it were needed for one.
The rest of the starting staff cannot be counted on for anything other than boosting the other teams’ stats. His bullpen is hit or miss, unless you are the opposing team. Then it’s mostly hit hit hit.
Daniels needs to trade. But more than that, he absolutely needs his deals to work out right away. He cannot afford a Garza deal.
A bad showing in October will leave a bad taste in voters’ mouths come November.
That’s why the trade deadline could very well see the Rangers taking on extra salary. They are investing into the future. What’s, say, an extra ten millions dollars in salary when they are going to be handed half a billion dollars in free money to build a sports complex that will generate multiple hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenue?
Daniels cannot afford to misfire here. He cannot afford to give Arlington voters a reason to doubt the franchise. He cannot afford to give them a reason to vote no.
That added wrinkle is every reason why he should make the Chris Sale (or similar) trade. Getting to the World Series by trading away so many great prospects might empty the pantry for a few years to come. But it will build a shiny new domed stadium that will last well into the 2040s.
Granted, the team on the field when that new domed stadium is ready might not be worth watching. But by that time the money is already spent, the stadium is already built, revenues are already flowing into pockets.
Four more days until the trade deadline.
My vote is to go for it.
The window isn’t always going to be there. And maybe the roof.
Yordano Ventura (3-5, 4.61) vs. Cole Hamels (2-2 , 3.12)
Game time: 7:05 pm