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Nolan Ryan: the Rangers are not interested in Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols

Nov 11, 2011, 8:32 AM EDT

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A lot of people want to put Prince Fielder in a Texas Rangers jersey, but Nolan Ryan tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Rangers are in the Mitch Moreland business:

“We truly believe Mitch’s career is ahead of him,” said Ryan. “Making a seven-or-eight year deal for Fielder or Pujols is not something our organization is prepared to do. I very much expect Mitch Moreland to be our first baseman next year.”

I suppose it’s possible that this is all about negotiation and that the Rangers could still be interested in one of the big first baseman, but as I said the other day, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for Texas to shoot the moon like that. They won their division by ten games. The Angels, A’s and Mariners aren’t exactly poised to overtake them.  If the Rangers have a need to spend some money on anything it’s starting pitching, not boomsticks.

Ryan doesn’t have a history of talking b.s. When he says Texas doesn’t want any part of Fielder or Pujols, I’m inclined to believe him.

  1. Charles Gates - Nov 11, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    If the Rangers really have no interest in Prince or El Hombre, wouldn’t it be smarter to pretend they did to potentially drive up prices for teams that are interested?

    • Jeremiah Graves - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:15 AM

      They could, but what’s the point with all that posturing for the sake of posturing?! The Yankees and Red Sox figure to be out on both of ‘em. Neither of the three teams in their division figures to be making that kind of splash. Who do they really impact here?

      Toronto? Baltimore? Chicago? St. Louis? San Francisco?

      There isn’t much benefit to playing some sort of cat and mouse game, because when it’s all said and done, they’re probably both getting somewhere near $200M whether the Rangers appear interested or not.

      None of it figures to impact Texas unless they run into Pujols/Prince in the playoffs next year and even then, the difference of a couple million dollars out of someone else’s pocket doesn’t figure to have a major impact.

      • 78mu - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:38 AM

        You are right about that. Talking about signing either of them in an effort to drive up his price would be about as effective as sending Torrealba out to the on deck circle to make Tony think you’re pinch hitting for the pitcher.

        Anyone can go through the list of teams and figure out which ones:

        a) can afford Pujols or Fielder
        b) don’t already have a 1b (cross off Yankees and Red Sox)
        c) haven’t already ruled out increasing payroll
        d) are attractive to Pujols and Fielder (which may not matter if enough $ are put on the table)

        So if Ryan says they are looking at Fielder I doubt Baltimore or Toronto will add another 5 million per year to their offers.

      • paperlions - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        In addition, it pisses off both agents and other teams if you pretend to be interested when there is no genuine interest…in the small world of MLB front offices, those relationships are important when it comes to making trades, signing FAs, and such….the reason Dan Duquette was fired by the Red Sox wasn’t because of his decisions…but because everyone hated him, as he lacked (and perhaps still lacks) any semblance of inter-personal skills.

    • aaronmoreno - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      Can’t drive up a price without an offer. Or, the agent will just create interest out of nothing, and he doesn’t need the Rangers for that anyway.

  2. hcgrindon - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    Craig, why must you always accompany posts about Ryan with that horrific picture that makes him look like a grumpy old man?

    • yankeesgameday - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:17 AM

      Agreed, I vastly prefer the shot from the ’10 alcs with bush when the rangers blew a five run lead to the Yanks in the 8th. Now that was a grumpy old man pic.

      • hcgrindon - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        heh

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:29 AM

      Grumpy old men! Hey, I think it would be a compliment to be compared to Walter Mathau and Jack Lemon.

    • bigharold - Nov 11, 2011 at 12:00 PM

      “…that makes him look like a grumpy old man?”

      Perhaps because he is a grumpy old man? He was a grumpy middle aged man as well. Hell, i be he was a grumpy young man.

      • astrozac - Nov 11, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        He is a grumpy old man. During the Series just check out anytime the cameras went to him when the Rangers were losing.

    • orangeflh - Nov 11, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      I’d much rather see a shot of Nolan being loving and kind, with his arm around the neck of Robin Ventura.

  3. miserriser - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    Mitch Moreland? Really Nolan, you guys benched every chance you got in the series. That bonehead went what 1 for 50 in the Post Season. Minus missing that grounder to first and costing us a double play that in turn scored several runs for the Cardinals Moreland did nothing.

    • hcgrindon - Nov 11, 2011 at 9:47 AM

      Yeah, I guess there is no way Mitch can EVER possibly improve. While we’re at it, let’s release Nellie because of the Game 6 non-catch. *rolls eyes*

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        I am with you HC. We should also probably release Holliday and Freese for dropping those Can O Corns as well. As I posted on the article Craig references above…you guys are stacked and will continue to be so for the forseable future. I think you need to tweak a couple of things in the Bullpen and get ready for 2012. Primarily…working with Ogando and Feliz to develope another “out pitch.” Those guys can flat out bring the heat. But (as evidenced in the WS)…good hitting teams will simply sit on the fastball and drive it if that is all you are using. Almost worse still…(as also evidenced in the WS) if you aren’t locating the strike zone those same good hitting teams will not help you by chasing a lot of balls out of the zone. This is where an additional pitch comes in handy. They need another true “go to pitch” and (in my opinion) they both will be two of the hardest pitchers to face in MLB.

      • hcgrindon - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:34 AM

        @stl – Nah, we just need to ship Feliz down to Frisco and Ogando back to Easter Island.
        /casualfanlogic

  4. cintiphil - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Either Ryan has lost his mind, and no longer an expert in the game, or they have NO money to sign Prince. He has to know that Texas needs an everyday first baseman. With Fielder or Albert, they are almost assured a threepeat in the AL, and a possible W-S title for once. We will never know for sure.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:19 AM

      They’ve got three guys they can shuffle in and out at 1B with Moreland/Napoli/Young and they figure to be in DIRE need of starting pitching, especially if CJ Wilson signs elsewhere.

      Why spend big time money upgrading at a position where you’ve got multiple solid option when you could spend that money to improve an area of need? The offense is not an issue in Texas.

      Unless Prince/Pujols is going to pitch 200+ innings with an ERA under 4.00 and a respectable WHIP, they’re probably not worth the money for Texas.

      • dparker713 - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:32 AM

        There’s no one on the market thats likely to pitch 200 innings with a respectable numbers in that ballpark. And next season they’ve got Wilson, Ogando, Holland and Feliz to start along with several options for the back end of that rotation. The Rangers dont really need anything at this point, but adding a good first baseman would make their offense truly special.

      • cintiphil - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        No wonder they have not won a W-S. Surprised they won A-L titles in two years. With your thinking, they can get by with what they have. I would like to use the method of getting the best player at each position that I can afford, then play the game the best way that I can with the best. They don’t need Hamilton out in center, just put in a player who might have a good day at the plate, and go with him.They would have a much better chance of winning my way, instead of trying to guess which player is going to hit on a particular day etc., and putting him in the game. Beside that, I thought they had a great pitching staff! Why would you change that if they are so solid? Just resign CJ and get the rest to play. Maybe third time is a charm, but don’t count out other AL teams next year.

  5. Richard In Big D - Nov 11, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    Nolan’s public proffession of faith in Mitch “the Bitch” Moreland is probably just what he needs to help him BECOME the next Pujols or Fielder. The flashes of brilliance he has shown, if bottled and dispensed on a regular basis, would put him in the very elite company of those two, at a small fraction of the cost for several years…

    • cintiphil - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:50 AM

      No flash of brilliance with Albert or Prince. They are brilliant almost ALL time time. Just ask any NL pitcher.

    • cintiphil - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:59 AM

      Good luck with words. It takes more than just encouragement to make a star player at this level although it does help. No one can replace a true Star player in any position, if you could do it with two or three guys who are journeymen at best, more teams would do just that. However, the best teams go with the best they can afford, which naturally causes the salaries for the start players to go up. That is why the good teams are willing to pay them, even though it does not work out all the time. That is your best chance for winning.

  6. Kyle - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    It’s probably just my fantasy experience of platooning Moreland all season, but I do believe he can be a capable Big League player, especially if he’s splitting time with Young/Napoli.

    • cintiphil - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:55 AM

      Platooning is not a very successful way of playing this game at the big league level. Perhaps the Rangers were just lucky to win two in a row, but it could happen again. Any manager would probably tell you that he would prefer to have a one guy at a position who can play everyday and not have to worry about who to play on a certain day. You can platoon some players who are not at critical positions, but very challenging to any manager to make it work.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 11, 2011 at 1:48 PM

        Sure, but I’d rather have the combo of Napoli/Moreland/Young than most 1B’s in the game. The Rangers need 2 bona fide starters, and they’re good.

  7. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 11, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    They won their division handily but if they want to take the next step and get those WS rings one of those guys would be a big help. That being said, the main concern for them is their pitching. The offense will be good without Prince or Pujols but unbelievable with one of them

    • cintiphil - Nov 11, 2011 at 12:07 PM

      That is exactly correct, and why a team tries to sign as many big stars as possible. Why did the Yankees get all of the big name players years ago. They did very well, until the past couple of years when the pitching suffered. However, you don’t hear of the Yankees saying we can get by without Rivera, we can just try to determine if some other so-so closer can do the job!

  8. marinersnate - Nov 11, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    “They won their division by ten games. The Angels, A’s and Mariners aren’t exactly poised to overtake them.”

    Craig, your words are hurtful!

    (And you will not see me at the pancake social tomorrow.)

    • cintiphil - Nov 11, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      They didn’t beat the Yankees or Boston or even Tampa Bay by 10 games. I think I could assemble a team to bet the Mariners by 10-20 games. If Napoli hadn’t gotten hot for the ACLS, the Tigers could have beaten them.

  9. bigtrav425 - Nov 11, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    They gotta save cash for Pitchers and outfielders in the next yr or 2 Josh and Nelson are not gettin any younger

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