The winter meetings are overhyped. It’s not as if general managers are required to make deals during this three-day convention. And it’s not as if that’s the only time a team can make deals to improve itself.
Mostly it’s a time to set the groundwork for trades to come.
The Rangers came out of the winter meetings having swung four deals.
They signed free agent starter Lance Lynn to a three-year, $30,000 contract. In today’s market, ten million a year for a pitcher seems like a real steal. Especially considering Daniels paid Matt Moore that much last year, and threw even more at Andrew Cashner the year before after coming off a horrible season.
They dealt Drew Robinson, the poster boy for Triple-A Success Doesn’t Necessarily Translate Up, for Patrick Wisdom. Robinson posted a .251 average with a .360 OBP in nine minor league seasons. In the big leagues, he’s .204/.301. Wisdom was the opposite of Robinson, a guy who didn’t hit much in the minor leagues but played did much better in his brief major league oppotunity last season. In thirty-two games for the Cardinals in 2018, he .260 with an on-base percentage of .360.
The Rangers claimed infielder Carlos Asuaje off waivers from the Padres, who are bursting at the seams with prospects. He could fill in the utility role that Hanser Alberto played, except Asuaje has played very little at short. In his three abbreviated seasons with the Padres, he has hit like a utility infielder.
And the Rangers closed out the meetings by trading popular reliever Alex Claudio to the Brewers for a compensatory draft pick, meaning once all the first round picks have been chosen, certain teams are granted extra first-round picks for losing free agents. The Rangers would get either the fortieth or forty-first pick in next years draft. The front office sees this as a major coup being able to get a first-round pick. The haven’t had great success in first-round picks in the past. This is just another piece in the long rebuild.
Time will tell if any of these deals leads pans out. The Lance Lynn deal will, of course, pay immediate dividends as he will be thrust into the rotation, barring injury, and will from that point on be a showcase to be flipped for more prospects.
One day the Rangers will have so many prospects they won’t know what to do with them.
Hopefully, they will win.