Grade the Rangers this offseason
The Rangers decided that Darvish is a No. 1 starter and worth $34.2 million more than C.J. Wilson, who won 15 games last year and helped them to back-to-back World Series. The Rangers strongly believe in Darvish, and their judgment has been dead-on the last few years. Signing Nathan to take over as their closer is a bargain if he’s 100 percent healthy. If the final six weeks of last season were any indication, Nathan is back.If you want to see Bowden's grades for the AL West and the rest of his Rangers thoughts, click here (insider).
My grade: B+
The reason I give a B is I included getting long-term deals done with some of the core group as part of my grade going into the offseason. So it's not fair to alter that now. The bottom line: The club did a good job of bundling some of the arbitration years on some of the contracts (Nelson Cruz, Elvis Andrus), but they didn't sign anyone into their free-agent years. Of course, it's not too late to do that and my grade might be adjusted once spring training is if they've done so.
But they get high marks for getting the Darvish deal done. We don't know fully how good a move that may be, but they trusted their scouts and got big-time backing from management. The club also acquired Joe Nathan and the scouts I've talked to that are outside the organization really liked that move and believe he'll pitch more like he did in the second-half of 2011. I also like the minor-league deals for Brad Hawpe and Conor Jackson. Something tells me one of those guys will do something this spring to make the squad. We'll see.
Overall, after losing C.J. Wilson to the Angels and watching L.A. grab Albert Pujols on the final day of the winter meetings, the Rangers still managed to construct a team that is once again a favorite in the AL.
But how would you grade the Rangers' offseason? Do they get an A? How much is your grade for them impacted by what the Angels did?
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.