Hello Rangers Fans,
My name is Gregg Elkin and my title is Senior Director of Baseball Media Relations for the Rangers. It’s a long title but when people ask me what I do for the club, I tell them I am the team’s PR Director. Recently some other PR Directors have begun using blogs through the team’s website to update fans on some of the inner workings of the team. Scott Reifert of the White Sox was the first to do so and it has been quite successful for them so I figured to give it a try and see what happens.
If you are a Rangers fan you know the last week and a half has been quite active for our General Manager Jon Daniels and the club. Last week at the Winter Meetings we made two trades and in the last two days, the club hosted some of our new players – Brad Wilkerson and Vincente Padilla – as they went through physicals and were introduced to the local media at a press conference.
It has been interesting to see the reaction of the Soriano trade that brought Wilkerson, OF Terrmel Sledge and minor league pitcher Armando Galarraga to the Rangers.
Soriano was a popular player with Metroplex fans and I can understand where people wondered why could we not trade him for a pitcher or multiple pitchers. There has been a lot written in the two seasons while Sori was here that the club could have traded him for this pitcher or that this team was interested in him. However, this was the first time another team had offered a major league player for him.
Daniels has made four trades in his first two-plus months on the job and in each transaction has brought a pitcher back in return – Jon Leicester from the Cubs, Fabio Castro from the Royals who had earlier in the day made him the first pick in the annual Rule 5 draft, Galarraga from the Nationals and Padilla from the Phillies. Padilla will obviously be in the club’s rotation in 2006, while Leicester and Castro should be in the mix for a spot in the bullpen. Galarraga, while not ready for the major leagues, was just ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the Washington system by Baseball America. He was also on the Nationals 40-man roster which meant they thought enough of him to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft.
Baseball is a sport where it seems everyone has an opinion on what is good and bad. I would argue that no sport is talked about more each and everyday of the year than baseball. Here are a few samples from respected baseball publications regarding the Soriano-Wilkerson trade that have not made espn.com or the local papers.
This one recently appeared on baseballprospectus.com:
The Rangers are getting crushed in the Metroplex for trading Alfonso Soriano and not getting back what they need, pitching. Worse, Brad Wilkerson was injured last season. What?s the deal there?
I don?t grasp how anyone doesn?t like this deal. Wilkerson gives the team a solid outfielder and opens a slot for Ian Kinsler. Assuming Terrmel Sledge can be a good fourth outfielder and Armando Galarraga (have to love that name) is your garden variety power-arm prospect, that?s a nice return. The Rangers never had as much market for Soriano as was thought. The best offer I know of was Scott Kazmir and while he may still become the ace many think he will, I?d much rather have Wilkerson. Jon Daniels and his staff aren?t done and I think this is just the first of a few moves that will have the Rangers competitive all year long and the rest of this decade.
And this one is from rotoworld.com
Rangers acquired RHP Vicente Padilla from the Phillies for a player to be named.
FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal thinks the player to be named might be right-hander Ricardo Rodriguez. Padilla figures to earn $4 million-$5 million in arbitration, something that made him expendable to the Phillies. The Rangers get themselves a potential third starter without locking themselves into a multiyear commitment. Jon Daniels deserves an A grade so far.
I know a lot of fans liked Soriano but this is a process that takes time to evolve. This is a trade that should lead to other moves. Just because the Winter Meetings are over, it does not mean the Baseball Hot Stove is over. There is still a long way to go before Spring Training starts and the regular season gets going.
I’ll do my best to keep this updated and let you know what is going as we always try to improve our website. Let me know what you think.