Jeff Bradley of ESPN The Magazine was at spring training for a few days gathering stuff on the Rangers and has put together a piece on how the Rangers and Reds approached the offseason. Part of it:
The addition of Beltre and the move of Young from third to a utility role is all you need to know about the Rangers' mind- set this winter after losing Cliff Lee to the Phillies. "Not getting complacent was a theme we hit on quite a bit," says GM Jon Daniels. "We think everyone else is going to get better, so we need to improve."
To move the needle on a team that won its division for the first time in 11 years and played in its first-ever World Series, Daniels signed a third baseman to replace Young, the club's all-time hits leader and a guy many consider the face of the franchise. The Rangers also let DH Vladimir Guerrero (29 homers in 2010) walk and replaced veteran catcher Bengie Molina with free agent Yorvit Torrealba and trade acquisition Mike Napoli. While it's hard to argue with these acquisitions -- Beltre is an upgrade over Young defensively, Torrealba is a good defender and Napoli will help replace Vlad's power -- such turnover is uncommon for a team that has just experienced success for the first time in a while.
Bradley goes on:
Daniels has spent much of the off-season and spring training dealing with the fallout surrounding Young's switch. Among the loudest voices was Young's, who said he was "misled and manipulated" before asking for a trade so he could play every day. "We're coming off a season like we've never had before, so this is new ground for us to cover," says Daniels. "We had a great group of guys last season. Talented guys who had success together. And we were forced to make tough decisions. Saying you should make those moves without emotion is spot-on, but it's so much easier said than done."
Bradley compares the Rangers' busy offseason to the Reds, who didn't do much to alter a team that won the division. Part of that was not wanting to mess with chemistry. Of course, how the Rangers' offseason impacted the chemistry was one of the big storylines. It's an interesting look at how the Rangers and Reds approached things.