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October 8, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Jon Daniels

Richard Durrett
  (12:00 PM)

Jon will be along in a few minutes to answer your questions. Thanks for joining us!

Richard Durrett
  (12:14 PM)

Jon is caught in a meeting and should be along shortly. Sorry about the delay. In the mean time, feel free to ask questions and Jon will answer as many as he can. Thanks.

Richard Durrett
  (12:19 PM)

Good news! Jon is on his way.

Robert (NewbergReport)

Was there any reluctance in allowing Jurikson Profar to play in the field rather than stay on the mound?

Jon Daniels
  (12:24 PM)

None at all. From day one we liked him as a shortstop better than on the mound. Love the makeup, athleticism, natural ability. Won't surprise me to see him talked about as one of the best prospects in a couple of years.

Adam J. Morris (Houston)

Has there been any consideration to locking up Elvis long-term ala Evan Longoria?

Jon Daniels
  (12:25 PM)

Not something we're working on currently - we typically address those deals sometime between the new year and spring training - but he fits a lot of the criteria we look for when deciding who to engage in those negotiations. Goes without saying that we expect Elvis to be a big part of what we're doing for years to come.

Jon Daniels
  (12:25 PM)

Not something we're working on currently - we typically address those deals sometime between the new year and spring training - but he fits a lot of the criteria we look for when deciding who to engage in those negotiations. Goes without saying that we expect Elvis to be a big part of what we're doing for years to come.

Greg (Frisco, TX)

Do you see Justin Smoak breaking spring training with the Rangers or do you see him starting off at OKC?

Jon Daniels
  (12:27 PM)

My hope/expectation is he starts the year in OKC - for a couple of reasons. First, it means the guys we're counting on are healthy and productive and we don't need to go to him that quickly. Second, it gives us an added layer of quality depth to go to if/when needed. And most importantly, it gives him the necessary development time & let's him tell us when he's ready, rather than vice versa.

Blake (Abilene, TX)

Jon, are the plans still to move Feliz to the starting rotation?

Jon Daniels
  (12:30 PM)

It's not black or white, but that's certainly how we're leaning. He'll be brought to spring training as a starter and put on a starter's schedule/program. With the development of his secondary and his ability to maintain velocity deep into games, plus the ease of his delivery & arm action, we feel he's got the ability to start. If it doesn't work out that way longterm, he'll be a very valuable member of our bullpen. 200 innings from a top of the rotation starter vs 60 high-leverage games at the backend of the pen... we need both, but we need to try to develop the starter first.

mwkennedy (Dallas, TX)

With the Rangers success in '09, two questions for you. 1) Does it increase your expectations for '10? 2) Can you pinpoint the area of the team where you feel it needs to make the most improvement in order to succeed in '10? Thanks and keep up the great work!

Jon Daniels
  (12:34 PM)

External expectations are clearly higher than if we'd struggled this year, but we've alwasy felt like the '09-'11 window is one in which our plan should come together and bear fruit on the ML field. Having seen what this group is capable of, and knowing that it'll remain largely in tact, we expect to win next year. We can & need to improve across the board, but if I had to pinpoint one area it would be offensive consistency. Bottom line is we didn't have enough baserunners. Some of it was due to youth, but that gets overblown - some of the most consistent hitters were 1st and 2nd year players. If we can improve our on base ability, our situational hitting, and just generally e tougher outs, I like our chances to play winning baseball more consistently.

Jason (Allen, Texas)

Are there any plans to lock Smoak up long term a la Evan Longoria with the Rays?

Jon Daniels
  (12:34 PM)

Not at this point, no.

Richard (Virginia)

Can we get an update on Eric Hurley? We haven't heard much from the organization regarding his rehab this year and just curious about the plans for him this upcoming season?

Jon Daniels
  (12:36 PM)

Eric spent the summer in Arlington, doing his rehab at Dr Meister clinic here. He came to the park on occasion to work out with the guys and be evaluated by our staff. He's doing well and will pick up his throwing program this off season. I expect he'll take part in games in ML camp, though we'll probably have him on a slower track, and may look for him to break with a team a little bit later than everyone else. We want to be careful with him in his first year off of the surgery, but his longterm prognosis looks good.

Dustin (Austin)

Is Michael Young still frustrated that he's playing 3rd base?

Jon Daniels
  (12:37 PM)

No, I don't think he is at all. He put a lot of work into the transition, and we all saw how much he improved there over the course of the season. To his credit, he really embraced Elvis from day one, as he saw how he could help us win.

Chris (Abilene)

How much stock does "clubhouse leadership" play into your decision to building a roster? What if that individual's performance could be replaced by a cheaper/better performing player?

Jon Daniels
  (12:40 PM)

It all factors in - on field performance, makeup/character/leadership/work ethic, finances/contract, age/projection, etc. When you play 162 games in 183 days (plus spring training & post season), and deal with everything that goes into it (playing hurt, dealing with media, expectations, etc) it's important to have guys that can help others through it. Leadership is important in everything - business, politics, etc - so to brush it off in sports the way I've read some do isn't appropriate. It's not everything, and sometimes it's blown out of proportion, but it's important.

Warren (Dallas)

Are you going to pursue any free agent SPs this off-season are just mainly slowly promote pitchers through the farm system?

Jon Daniels
  (12:43 PM)

I'm encouraged by the depth we've developed in our starters - we should be 7 or 8 deep internally of guys we're comfortable handing the ball to next year. That said, we can definitely improve, and if we can do so within our means, we will. I don't expect to be big players on the top end free agents, but that's not always where the best acquisitions are found. We'll look at free agency, trades, and improving internally, all as ways to get better.

Brian Thomas (Virginia)

Thanks for doing this, JD. Ron Washington has really seemed to sour on Nelson Cruz this year, giving him a disproportionate number off days off, and making multiple disparaging remarks about his defense, consistency, etc., while simultaneously heaping high praise on david Murphy and Marlon Byrd. Given that Cruz, by any offensive or defensive metric you could choose, was the 2nd best position player on the team this year, it leaves a lot of us scratching our heads. Can you articulate what some of the org's misgivings are with regard to Cruz (I haven't noticed anyone else rush to Nelson's defense)? Thanks.

Jon Daniels
  (12:46 PM)

Nellie would have played in 140 games if not for the two ankle injuries he suffered. Given that we had 5 outfielders for a good portion of the year (plus others for the DH spot), I think he played quite a bit -- not to mention this is really his first full year in the big leagues. Some of that time off may have helped him. Does Ron challenge him to get better? No doubt. If that's perceived as not liking him, I don't think that's the case. He's an asset for us going forward. How much and how well he plays is largely up to him.

Steve (NY)

Jon, are you anticipating Josh Hamilton returns to 2008 form next season?

Jon Daniels
  (12:49 PM)

Josh feels his struggles this year were largely due to two things - changing his hitting mechanics early in the year, and the abdominal/back injuries he suffered stemming from that catch he made in May vs Anaheim. As I told him last weekend, it's now on him to prove that's the case. Big off-season and upcoming year for Josh. He's got MVP ability, but as we saw this year, that's not a given. Personally, I like his chances to bounceback and play a big role for us next season. Not many guys can impact a lineup like he can.

Steve (NY)

Do you see Derek Holland taking a big step forward next season?

Jon Daniels
  (12:52 PM)

Derek's never really struggled/failed before - kind of like Hunter the year before. How these guys deal with failure is very telling. Tommy bounced back, improved his changeup, got the ball down more consistently, and came up with the cutter. I'd expect Derek to make similar adjustments (not necessarily the same pitch mix). To his credit he hung in and battled all season, bounced back from some rough starts, and competed. That's big for a 22 year old. we like his chances to take a significant step forward next year.

Craig G. (fairfield, California)

Hey Jon, how much pressure did you get from the local and national media to bring up Justin Smoak during the season?

Jon Daniels
  (12:53 PM)

None. That really doesn't factor in to our decisions. If we felt he was ready to help & needed at the ML level, we'd go get him (or anyone else).

Rich P (Bridgewater)

What would Julio Borbon need to show in spring training to win the centerfield job. He seems to be the prototypical leadoff man now that he's showing better plate discipline.

Jon Daniels
  (12:56 PM)

It's not really spring training - it's more about what we see in winterball this off season, what we do as far as other personnel moves, and how the rest of the outfield shapes up. Was Julio a finished product and ready to play CF at a high level everyday this year? Probably not. But we feel he will be in time. Let's not forget he played very little baseball in 2007 (broken anle in college, then sat out the summer). He then had 800 PA's all told in 2008 (including spring & winterball). The more he plays, the better he'll be.

taylor (austin)

If Marlon's veteran presence and clubhouse leadership is so amazing, why did the team have such a tough finish? I'm not trying to devalue what he has done for the club but it seems like he is irrationally praised for so many intangibles

Jon Daniels
  (12:58 PM)

Hard to blame Marlon for the injuries to Michael, Josh, Nellie, Salty, etc - or the drop off in starting pitching we had later in the year. He brings a lot to the club, but no one should expect that to overcome some clear deficiencies we showed.

Ross (Keller)

How does the organization view Chris Davis since he came back from Oklahoma City. He looked more like last year's Chris Davis than early season Davis, but he still struck out a little too much for my liking...

Jon Daniels
  (12:59 PM)

Chris is always going to strike out a decent amount. If the power and on base element are there, we cna live with that (obviously not to the degree he was on pace for in 1st half). Once he came back, he was actually one of our better situational hitters, and did a better job of staying inside the ball & using the opposite field. He's still in our plans.

Steve (NY)

Are you concerned by Kinsler's tremendous drop in average?

Jon Daniels
  (1:01 PM)

I think that goes hand in hand with what the naked eye would tell you from watching him this year. After mid-May, he wasn't the same hitter we've come to expect. Too many times under the ball, wasn't the tough out we need him to be - which is why he hit lower in the order. He's too athletic and too smart not to make an adjustment this winter. I think we'll see a more consistent player next year.

Jake (North richland Hills, TX )

What are the chances of bringing back Byrd? and if not how do you intend on replacing him?

Jon Daniels
  (1:04 PM)

Not sure yet. As we've told Marlon & his agent Sam Levinson, we'd like to have him back. Now it comes down to what fits for us financially, given the makeup of this team, and what he feels he'd accept. We're not at the point just yet of exchanging specifics #s but we probably will be soon. If he's not back, we have quality depth in the OF and we'll also pursue alternatives via trade/FA.

Jimmy (dallas)

Hi Jon, Do you think new Rangers pitching philosophy stressing importance of pitching deeper into games sometimes can go overboard, for example Brandon McCarthy

Jon Daniels
  (1:06 PM)

I don't think Brandon's injury had anything to do with how much he pitched - it was a recurrence of a previous injury. That's not to say that the higher workload didn't affect some guys - everyone's an indivisual. It's something we do talk about. Did it affect Millwood, and lead to his mid-year struggles? I can't say for sure. We'll continue to look at ways to improve across the board, including how to best handle the individuals on our staff.

Todd Trice (Fort Worth)

Where do you expect Tanner Scheppers to be assigned to start 2010? What about Robbie Ross?

Jon Daniels
  (1:08 PM)

A little early to say on Scheppers, but he's impressed in a short time in Instructs. The ball comes out of his hand like it does with very few, and he's got two legit power breaking balls. He could be a quick mover in the system, but let's see how the AFL and spring training treat him before we announce where he's going specifically... Ross, consistent with how we've handled the other HS pitchers we've signed recently, is probably on target to see Hickory this year.

Jarrod (Oklahoma City)

Is the team still considering signing Josh Hamilton to a long-term contract this offseason or is it more likely that the team decides to wait given his struggles this season and the team's ownership situation?

Jon Daniels
  (1:09 PM)

I'm still open minded to it at some point, but for now we're focused on getting him healthy and back in the lineup. Contract is secondary. I expect we'll get a one year deal done with him this winter and then review that in the future.

Jason M (Dallas)

I want to begin by thanking you for spending time with us today. I was wondering if there have been any talks or planned talks with Ben Sheets or his agent since his surgery? and if yes, can you tell us any details about them?

Jon Daniels
  (1:11 PM)

From previous conversations with Casey Close, Ben continues his rehab and is preparing to pitch in 2010. He's among the guys we'll look into this winter, and if he's healthy, I expect others will too.

Todd Trice (Fort Worth)

Can you tell us how close you were to getting Anthony Raunado and/or Drew Pomeranz signed when you drafted them in 2007? Both those guys are projected to be early first round talents next year and I was curious if you were close to getting either of those guys signed after drafting them out of high school?

Jon Daniels
  (1:13 PM)

We were probably closer with Pomeranz - in fact we actually offered him more than he was asking for in an attempt to get him signed, but he and his family chose to go to college, and I don't fault him for that at all. We had talks with Raunado too, but we didn't get as close there. Some guys pass up $$ out of HS and eventually regret it -- others go out and put themselves in much better draft/financial position and get their education. Looks like both of these guys fall into the latter category.

Jerel (Mesquite)

Any talks on bringing Pudge back?

Jon Daniels
  (1:16 PM)

We're leaving the door open right now, though neither side has committed to anything. We want to see how Salty comes back from surgery, how Teagarden does in winterball, what our scouts say about other potential acquisitions. I'm glad we were able to bring him back home and it's a possibility we re-sign him. He did a nice job in the short time he was here.

Taylor (Garland)

Jon, do you believe that there should be a salary cap in baseball?

Jon Daniels
  (1:18 PM)

I don't love the idea of a cap, but continued efforts to find some sort of financial compeitive balance would make sense to me. Three quarters of the teams that make the post-season come from the top half of payroll clubs (almost top third depending on how far back you look). It's certainly possible to succeed without a high payroll, but it's an obstacle - especially to maintain that level of performance year over year.

Ed Coffin (Fort Worth)

What is Brandon Boggs' status now? Is he in the mix for 2010 MLB consideration?

Jon Daniels
  (1:20 PM)

Brandon had his shoulder (dislocation) cleaned up last month, but will be full go for spring training next year.

Taylor (Garland)

Jon, do you listen to Galloway and CO.?

Jon Daniels
  (1:22 PM)

No, not really. But I don't listen to much, if any, local sports radio.

Nick (Dallas)

Are the Rangers going to try and acquire a closer. CJ and Franky looked lights out at times but also struggled at times. If not, do you see CJ challenging Franky for the closr spot?

Jon Daniels
  (1:24 PM)

We led the AL in save percentage this year. CJ & Frankie did a very good job overall. There were obviously frustrating nights, but there are for every team. The grass isn't always greener...

Josey Wales (Metroplex)

Can you still make a mean bunch of donuts if something unforseen happen with the new ownership?

Jon Daniels
  (1:26 PM)

I'm a little rusty, but I'm sure it's like riding a bike. Appreciate you looking out.

Mark (Dallas)

Is there any timetable on Martin Perez? I know Nolan said in the papers last year that he would be the next big name to come up

Jon Daniels
  (1:28 PM)

I expect Martin to go to spring training and then head to Frisco. At 19, we'll let him tell us when he's ready. He's got tremendous ability, and we're open minded to having him on a faster development track than most, but it's got to be earned. Hopefully we're having success at the ML level and he can continue to develop under the radar.

Jon Daniels
  (1:29 PM)

Ok everyone - got to run. Thanks for all the questions. Look forward to doing this again soon. Really appreciate all of your support this year - it made a big difference to our guys knowing our fans were out there... Elvis for ROY... JD