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Did Chuck Greenberg undermine Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels?

Dec 10, 2010, 3:13 PM EDT

Chuck Greenberg

Interesting angle on the Rangers’ pursuit of Cliff Lee from Evan Grant today. He thinks Chuck Greenberg “made what could be a very dangerous spur-of-the-moment decision,” in getting involved in the Lee negotiations directly, effectively overruling and undercutting team President Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels who had made it clear as of Wednesday that they did not intend to get into a bidding war for Lee.  Grant compares it all to Tom Hicks getting involved in the Alex Rodriguez negotiations ten years ago.

I can see that, but I tend to think this is a lesson that will be learned by the Rangers, and not a hard lesson. As in, I don’t think they’ll end up winning Lee and thus having to live with a big contract, for the reasons I said earlier today.

Also worth noting that this isn’t just my speculation. Other major league sources have told me — based on their own views of the matter, not on any inside-intelligence — that they don’t think the Rangers will win it. What’s more, they think that’s possibly by design, with all of this being a big show so they can tell fans back home that they tried their hardest. Maybe that’s a bit too cynical — I said as much this morning, but I’m not 100% convinced of it myself — but the fact remains that the people I spoke with would be shocked if the Rangers won.*

Me too.  And thus, though I think Evan is right that Greenberg going over Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels’ head here is problematic, it probably won’t be giant problem.

At least until he does it again with the next big free agent fish.

*Probably worth noting that we were all shocked when the Angels didn’t Carl Crawford too.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 10, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    “Hey Chuck, you lilly-livered peasant, remember what I did to Robin Ventura? C’mere.”

  2. joshv02 - Dec 10, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    “Other major league sources”

    This confuses me. Do you mean writers when you say “sources”? If not, “other” than whom…. I don’t think you cited a ML “source” other than yourself (which would be the natural way to read the antecedent for “other”) :)

  3. texasdawg - Dec 10, 2010 at 3:34 PM

    Nearly the exact opposite is the case, actually.

    Greenberg, Levine, and Davis had to go to Arkansas and then have Greenberg do the conference call with local media to do major damage control after Ryan made a mess of a the situation, telling the press the Rangers would not “get in a bidding war” and that Lee needed to just name his price.

    Nolan Ryan is in way over his head in that position. This isn’t the first big error he’s made in his short time as Rangers president, and it won’t be the last.

    • terryindallas - Dec 10, 2010 at 7:30 PM

      I think this is half of it. The other half is something close to what Greenberg stated, a response to the Yankees offer, but yeah, they probably felt they needed to counteract the cattleman’s unusual negotiating style that didn’t go over too well with Braunecker.

  4. Adam - Dec 10, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Or it could be that they planned for him to “undermine” them and make it look like they’d spend big so the Yankees would have to pay more. Maybe they’re just crazy like a fox.

    • ditto65 - Dec 10, 2010 at 4:26 PM

      And force a team that can afford to overspend, overspend?
      Running up the price of future free agents?
      Making it even more difficult for the Rangers in the future?
      Putting millions more in the pocket of the guy that just left you?
      I don’t believe it.

  5. Richard In Big D - Dec 10, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    *Also worth noting, Craig, is the amount of shock dispensed when the Rangers won the trade war for Lee at the deadline…

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