Are Yu there Richard?
I am. And I imagine the Yu references will start flying for a while now in Rangersland.
If the rangers do get Yu signed, what are the possibilities of the club trading away some pieces to upgrade or restock the farm?
I think they are always looking for ways to get better. But they still have a solid farm system. Remember, Darvish costs money but not prospects. So they still have some if they want to look at dealing for more pitching depth at some point -- whether that's this offseason or before the July trade deadline.
Richard, I enjoyed the chats throughout the season. My question is: Would getting Darvish mean that the Rangers are out on Felix Hernandez if he were made available? Is it better to just let our prospects develop and help us in the near future?
Signing Darvish doesn't mean the Rangers are completely "out" on anything, if you ask me. But it certainly changes their strategy in regards to how they approach the payroll going forward. Felix Hernandez would be a great addition to any team, but Seattle would likely clean out the club's top prospects to trade him. Would that be worth it? Hard to say. But the club wants to be sure they've got a well stocked farm system to make deals that can help the MLB team for years to come. So they'll look into anything and everything.
Just wanted to ask, which division in the AL looks to be the most exciting; West or East? Why?
I've got to think the AL West with the additions of Pujols and Wilson to the Angels and Darvish to Texas. And then let's see what Prince Fielder does. What if he ends up in the West too? You never know. The AL East will once again be solid, so it should be fun to see those two divisions going at it. But I'll take the West.
How prepared do you think Yu is for MLB? Will he start immediately?
He'll start immediately. How prepared is he? We'll see. But the scouts that I've talked to rave about not only his stuff, but his makeup. He's got great work ethic, a true desire to pitch at the highest level and the Rangers believe he has the ability to get it done. He'll come into spring training (assuming he's signed) ready to start. And he better be prepared for lots of cameras pointed at him and plenty of questions hurled at him from US and Japanese reporters.
Pujos is going to take Yu deep many times this season!
That matchup should be fun. Mark your calendars for May 11 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for the start of that three-game series. And let's hope Darvish pitches in there.
No question here but a small note to JeDi, Darvish + Fielder > Pujols Wilson!
What would happen if the Rangers lowball Mr. Darvish? When would the Fighters be able to repost him?
First of all, I'll be surprised if they don't get a deal. He seems to want to pitch over here and the Rangers are clearly interested as the nearly $52 million bid shows. If he doesn't sign, the Fighters don't get the posting fee and Darvish returns to Japan. I believe he could become an unrestricted free agent after the 2013 season, but I'm checking on that. Still, he would have given up two prime years in the US if that's the case. My bet is he signs.
That's alot of $$ tied up on someone thats not proven. After the string up Japan player busts, why is this guy different?
It's more the makeup than the stuff, though scouts seem to like his stuff better than Dice-K's too. Scouts tell me he's committed, a very hard worker, driven to succeed and mature. Plus, he's constantly improving his stuff, adding a two-seam fastball in 2010. We'll see if all of that translates into success at the big league level, but the Rangers trust their Pacific Rim ops staff (led by Joe Furukawa and Jim Colborn and overseen by AJ Preller and Josh Boyd).
With no prospects being used, doesn't this mean the Rangers have the most currency at trade deadline? They can get anyone they need during the season.
Sure it does. That's the advantage to having the deep ownership pockets. Now, they have the flexibility to get a pitcher at the deadline or whenever they find one they like and feel the price (in terms of prospects) is right. It also means they don't have to do anything and can keep building that farm system for future deals. They could also decide to trade one of their young arms (not saying they will, but it's an option) if that means finding some players that could help them in the future.
Does Darvish mean that the odds of the Rangers keeping Uehara and Tatayama around are increased (to make Darvish more comfortable)?
Not sure that's why they'd be around. The Rangers don't want to trade Uehara when his value is a bit down. If Uehara is a part of the back end of the bullpen, it's because the Rangers believe in him, not to keep Darvish comfortable. But that could be a side benefit.
Does anyone know who else bid on Yu? - I'm wondering who got second and so on...
Other teams did bid on Yu. We don't know how many and exactly who finished second, though the feeling is the Blue Jays bid and one report said it was between $40 and $50 million.
Does spending all this money mean the Rangers will have to let go of some of it's "core"?
That's the big question going forward. We'll see. You would think it would be difficult to keep everyone they currently have and pay Darvish a five- or six-year contract (if that's what it ends up being). Some of the decisions coming quickly: Josh Hamilton will be a free agent after 2012. Mike Napoli too. Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz shortly after that.
Better deal? CJ Wilson for 15.5 million a year for 5 years or Darvish for 22 million a year for 5 years (This includes bid fee).
Hard to say. But Darvish is 25, CJ is 31. Rangers banking that Darvish has more upside and more prime years.
Any guess for Yu's contract? I'll take 5 years for $60 million, he simply doesn't have the leverage to get a CJ contract.
Most think it will cost more than that. We'll see.
The Rangers organization and especially the pitching staff was given a great boost, and it has nothing to do with Yu. The addition of Greg Maddux will greatly help the pitching staff, as he teaches them how to carve up hitters instead of just trying to blow them away. Your thoughts?
No dbout. And more than how he teaches them about the art of pitching, it will be his defensive work. Maddux won 18 Gold Gloves. He's going to work on PFP with a Rangers pitching staff that, frankly, wasn't good defensively last year. That should be a big boost.
Do the rangers have the best front office in baseball?
It's got to be one of the best, doesn't it? Two straight AL crowns. And now Jon Daniels and his staff have money to go along with prospects. Other teams know Texas is a team to watch.
Let Cruz go when his time gomes. I know a lot of other fans don't want to hear this but he's NOT a good defensive player and he's on the DL at least twice a year.
Is it allowable for there to have been a side deal between the Fighters and Yu to share in some of the posting fee to drive down the contract demands with the Rangers?
I don't think so.
What is the biggest area of weakness on this tam now? I would guess 1B and maybe CF depending on your feelings on Moreland and Martin.
That's probably fair. They still don't know what they have in Mitch Moreland. And assuming he's the starting first baseman when spring training begins (I've learned never to count the Rangers out of any "sweepstakes," even Prince Fielder), we'll find out. He had wrist surgery and should be ready at some point during spring training. Since he was injured for much of the second half, it's tough to know exactly what the club has in Moreland. They need to find out in 2012.
What do you all say If I go ahead and sign Fielder and Oswalt now? We will let Ian Cruz and Hamilton walk! Profar and Olt -- good candidates for the infield and we will get an outfielder or 2 via trade later!
Those are the types of decisions that have to be made. There's no rule that says the Rangers have to keep this core together forever. And they shouldn't. The key is choosing smartly the ones to let go and the ones to keep. They made one decision with Wilson and have more coming.
Is there any significance to the fact that the 51.7 mil bid won?t count directly towards the payroll? If Yu gets around 15 mil per year salary, will it be fair to discount the bid money and say the Rangers spent basically the same amount Yu as they would?ve on CJ Wilson?
You can look at it that way. But even though it's not in the payroll long term, it's still a major investment from ownership. Whether that's money that can't be spent on someone else remains to be seen, but for the time being, that's a lot of money from ownership's pockets that will go to the Japanese team.
Do you seen the Rangers trying to move Feliz for another starting pitcher or for a 1B. He could bring a premium to a team that needs a closer.
They'll explore all options, but I do think they really want to see what Feliz has as a starter. If he can do it, not only will his value increase for the Rangers, but it will increase on the trade market too. Then your question becomes even more valid. But at this point, let's see if Feliz can start.
We now have 7 starting pitchers that could be in any rotation just about in baseball. Feldman was our opening day starter two years ago. Ogando Feliz Holland Harrison and Lewis....what are the Rangers plans with the rotation? Is Ogando back to the 7th inning and Feldman the long man?
I think they'll let it play out. And why wouldn't they? It seems that every spring a starting pitcher gets injured. So come to spring with plenty of depth and see what happens. A little competition never hurt anyone.
How does the posting process work? Do teams know what is the highest bid to beat?
Teams don't know the highest bid until it's announced. The Rangers didn't know until they found out last night. It's a strange system. All bids are sealed. The Japanese team only gets the amount of the bid and then if they accept it, they find out the team that sent the bid. Then there's a 30-day window to negotiate. So you really don't know. It's a complicated game of poker.
They need to keep Hamilton and Ian...but Cruz and Michael? No.I love MY, but he's making too much money. Let him finish 2 years and sign him for cheaper or let him go.
As you noted, his salary comes off the books after the 2013 season. He's making $16 million a year, so that would help decrease payroll some. Of course, there will be "core" members with significant pay raises about that time too.
How does obtaining the rights to Yu affect our chances at Fielder? Do we still have a shot? I know Rangers have said that he PF does not fit in payroll but same was kind of said about Yu.
As I said earlier: Don't ever count Texas out. I can't see them going 10 years on Fielder, but if no team steps forward, maybe they get in the game. Yu never know. Dang it. I did it again.
Ogando to the bullpen or Feliz starting the year in AAA? Bullpen could be really stout with Ogando/Adams/Nathan.
blue jays fan here..tell us what it's like to cover a team that actually spends money and gets what it wants..thx
The Blue Jays are in good hands with Alex Anthopolous. By various accounts, they made a competitive bid for Darvish. Only one team can win the bid. But they are building that team the right way. And they could get in on some of the trade possibilities this offseason too.
With the Rangers being buyers in the free agent market, should we expect ticket prices to go up? Or will the team try to keep their fans happy with low prices?
I haven't heard anything about a price increase since they announced a few hikes earlier this offseason in parts of the stadium. We'll see how they do this year and what it might mean for ticket prices in 2013.
Prince Fielder- $120 mil, 6 years. That's essentially a wash with MY's income after 2013. Yes others need money but the TV contract also kicks in soon after [2014-2015]. Just my personal wish list.
TV money kicks in after 2015. Just not sure Fielder can be had for six years. We'll see.
Im afraid if the Blue Jays get active in trades they will get burned. They will pose a legitimate shot in 2013.
Richard, in order for the Rangers to have room for Fielder, would they have give up the likes of a David Murphy or an Endy Chavez?
Chavez signed with Baltimore earlier this week and Murphy isn't an expensive player. I don't think they have anything to do with it.
OK, everyone. Thanks for all of the questions. Be sure and check us out at ESPNDallas.com and on the Rangers blog. We'll see Yu later.