DALLAS -- At the Texas Rangers' holiday luncheon on Wednesday, general manager Jon Daniels was asked questions on a bunch of different topics. The chat, at one point, shifted to the emotional release when a big deal is made.
Daniels doesn't come off as a very emotional guy. That's probably a good thing in a GM. He's calculated, studied and rarely gets rushed into a decision. He's even-keeled and probably someone you'd rather not play poker with if you intend to take his money.
But he still celebrates the big moves, especially when his staff has worked so hard to see one through.
"There's an adrenaline rush," Daniels said. "That's the fun of the business."
So what was his biggest adrenaline rush since he's been the GM?
The Cliff Lee trade. Daniels said it was the entire way it went down, not to mention the fact that the Rangers did not want to include Justin Smoak and finally relented when it was clear that would get it done.
"We went to sleep thinking the Yankees got him," Daniels said.
The next morning, reports surfaced that the deal with the Yankees had fallen through. That put the Rangers in position, thanks to a strengthened farm system (read about that here), to get the deal done. It was a major deal a few weeks before the deadline and it marked the Rangers' graduation from building something to actually contending. Lee went on to help the club win its first playoff series in franchise history and eventually get to the World Series.
Daniels put the Mark Teixeira deal as No. 2 on his list. The club had researched the key pieces in that deal for a while and felt good about the prospects they were getting back. Clearly, that worked out with Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison still on the club. You can read about how that deal came together here.
More recently, Prince Fielder was obviously an adrenaline rush too. We'll see if Daniels has any more this offseason.