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Jon Daniels is a bit frustrated

Dec 18, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

daniels-jon-101027 AP

Rangers GM Jon Daniels backed all this up with a lot of “we’re happy with our team” talk, but it’s not often you hear a GM say that they’re frustrated at how their offseason is going:

… we were in on Greinke. We would’ve liked to have had him, but it didn’t work out. We were interested in bringing Josh back, didn’t work out … Is there some frustration? Sure. We’re competitors too, and this is the time of year we try to do what we do.

So, do they take that frustration out on a big contract for Michael Bourn? Or maybe Nick Swisher? Or are the Rangers truly the AL West’s Yankees: that team that, each winter, people think is due for a fall while its competitors get better, only to get into the season and once again find themselves in first place?

  1. andreweac - Dec 18, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Daniels failed to see how the market has changed with new TV deals. Relative FA bargains like Beltre don’t exist. Once the Yankees, Mess (sic) and Red Sox start spending after 2014 or so the market will only see more inflation.

    • thehypercritic - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      Bargains still exist on the middle and lower ends of the market, but never at the top of free agent classes.

      That said, I think Daniels’s unwillingness to pay well beyond what a player’s likely to produce over the life of a contract would indicate that he sees quite clearly how the market has changed and will be looking for more intelligent ways to invest his payroll than trying to outbid clubs who are willing to go above and beyond in order to satisfy their fanbase and pump up season ticket sales as much as make wise baseball investments.

    • paperlions - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      Sure those “deals” exist. When Beltre was signed many thought it was an overpay in dollars and years. The key is to recognize when perception and reality differ and to take advantage of those opportunities. Similar to the Beltre contract, the Holliday contract has been fantastic so far….true, there are still 4 years left, though his age 36 season….but he’s being paid $15M/year with $2M/year deferred. In this market, that is still a steal…he’s barely being paid more than Napoli or Victorino or Upton, and he’s the same age as the first 2.

      Anyway, good deals exist, you just have to use a “money ball approach” to identify them (i.e. market inefficiencies).

      Personally, I don’t see Greinke or Hamilton as such a situation. The likelihood that either of those guys lives up to his contract is small….especially for Hamilton. Swisher is probably a steal in this market, and a short term deal for Bourne may be as well.

      • bsbiz - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:49 AM

        I don’t think the Greinke deal was bad, outside of the realization that at any time, a pitcher’s arm could decide it wants to go into early retirement.

      • paperlions - Dec 18, 2012 at 11:15 AM

        It is definitely an overpay though. Yeah, he’s good….but he has rarely (or recently) been considered among the top 10 pitchers in baseball….maybe fringy…top 15 or so….but he’s being paid like he’s better than that.

      • bsbiz - Dec 18, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        But how many of the contracts his is being compared to were signed in the old market (the one before the mega tv contracts)? In the current reality, the one that exists after the Dodgers were bought for $2bn, the Angels and Rangers sign for nine or almost 9 figures a year, the Dodgers for a shit-ton of money, this is a good deal.

  2. canucks18 - Dec 18, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Daniels is being a bit of a baby here. We were in on this guy, in on that guy… If you hadn’t thought the best approach on Hamilton was to make him your 5th priority you’d have him still. It’s called business management 101, my dad told me when I was around 12 years old and chasing girls every day, “stop beating around the bush and just tell her you like her, you’ll have better success when they know you like em instead of making it seem like you don’t”. And he finished with and if you lose out on one, there’s others to choose from.”

    • ss - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      Had I known Business Management 101 was actually The Art of Seduction 101 I certainly wouldn’t have this nonsense Political Science degree on the shelf.

    • pauleee - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Gee, I wish my dad had told me that, when I was 12.

      //Thanks a lot for ruining my life, you bastard!!!
      //runs away, sobbing

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      So, Daniels should have slipped Hamilton a Rufie and then had him sign the contract? I’m just trying to understand this through the prism of my dating life. Did I get this right?

  3. darthicarus - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    I would be more concerned if he wasn’t frustrated. Obviously you can’t always get who you want and having hopes of landing 1 or 2 premier guys & getting neither would be a bit of a downer no matter what team you are. It’s kind of like buying a Lotto ticket, in the back of your mind you’ve mapped out how you are spending the money should you win but when those #’s are called & you aren’t a winner you go on as before…the Rangers will go on and compete, just not with all the pieces Daniels had hoped to have when the free agency season began.

  4. thehypercritic - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    It doesn’t genuinely sound like frustration so much as placating a fanbase that wants to win the offseason after watching Ron Washington toss away their postseason like he was getting bonuses for lowering the game’s win probability.

    I have no doubt he would have loved to add Greinke or bring back Hamilton, but at those prices the risk truly outweighed the reward — that’s a harder message to deliver than pretending to be frustrated that he didn’t sign risky players to large contracts which would have limited flexibility in shaping the roster for the next several seasons when more sensible opportunities present themselves.

  5. lewp - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    For what it’s worth, rumors are circulating that Nolan Ryan has had some blame to share in this as well.

    • paperlions - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:35 AM

      Blame or credit?

      I like the Rangers offseason so far. They dumped Young, which is a huge plus. They have Profar and Olt knocking on the MLB door, each with a lot of promise….and they didn’t overpay for Greinke or Hamilton….allowing them to maintain both roster and payroll flexibility, which are HUGE assets in themselves.

  6. deathmonkey41 - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    Someone should give him a hug.

  7. angrycorgi - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    As a Ranger fan, it may be frustrating about Greinke and Hamilton, but I think both are being way overpaid now. My frustration with the Rangers FO is the lack of any kind of backup plan. The Rangers really NEEDED another starting pitcher (didn’t have to be a #1) that was reasonably reliable and there was no push to acquire one. I think the move to NOT offer Napoli a 3 year deal is probably going to hurt the Rangers the most. Our catcher options now are deplorable. I’m happy with the outfield and infield otherwise and am excited to see the young kids get a real shot to play.

    • thehypercritic - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      Edwin Jackson, averaging 3.5 fWAR and 200 innings over the past four seasons, remains on the market and should be pretty reasonable for a hurler still under 30.

      About 20 teams could do a lot worse than embracing what a reliable workhorse he is instead of lamenting the fact he’s never turned into the #2 his stuff would suggest.

      • kkolchak - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:51 AM

        Good luck with that. As a Nats fan I am very happy to see Jackson’s backside headed out the door. The dude is maddeningly frustrating to have on your team. I’d rather give some young guys a shot that pay Jackson the $13 million or so he wants.

      • tashkalucy - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:15 AM

        This guy has logged so many non-productive innings over the past 4-5 years (all his teams dump him), that it’s only a matter of time when the music stops and the GM that gave him his last big contract has no chair to sit in.

      • thehypercritic - Dec 18, 2012 at 7:19 PM

        Yes, because 200 runnings at a 3.80 xFIP isn’t what you want from a 3 or 4 starter…

        What is it about Edwin Jackson that so many dislike? It can’t be found in his numbers or track record.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      How do you know they don’t have a “backup plan”?

      How do you know that this isn’t their plan?

  8. jdl1325 - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    “Find themselves in first place”, except when it counts…the last day of the regular season.

    • bsbiz - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:51 AM

      If that’s the case, 29 teams had a shitty year last year.

  9. natslady - Dec 18, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    I understand it’s a slow news day, but didn’t we already have a post on Jon Daniel’s emotional state?

  10. tashkalucy - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Apparently it’s ‘Let’s Dump On Jon Daniel’s Time’ here at HBT.

    The man is one of the best GM’s in MLB. He has built a perennial contending team from nothing. He didn’t suddenly get dumb.

    I’ll say it again – the Hamilton deal that the Angels suckered themselves into is going to be the crowing blow in a series of moves that will make them a 2nd division team in a few years, maybe even this year (ball don’t carry in the low humidity of Anaheim as they do in the high humidity of Texas…..where Nelson Cruz becomes a power hitter). Team that win the off-season seldom win in-season (Miami Marlins anyone?). And teams the lose the off-season often win in the real season. The Rangers have a good deal of money and a very good farm system full of top-tier prospects. Mr. Daniels has put himself in a very good position due to the moves he’s made over the last 3-4 years. 25 other teams should be in this bad of shape.

  11. lmoneyfresh - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Say what you want about losing out on big FA names, but when your backup plan includes Olt, Profar and Martin, it could just end up being a blessing in disguise. It may not seem that way now, but the best move they could have made was dumping MY to upgrade both the infield and offensive production.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      I’ll ask you the same question…..

      How do you know this isn’t their plan?

      • lmoneyfresh - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:24 AM

        It very well could have been. It still is a better fallback than most teams have to be honest.

  12. willclarkgameface - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Jon Daniels is a whiner.

    He has a butt load of money himself and he should have been in on ALL of the top level free agents this winter. Instead, he got none of them. Boo fucking hoo.

    Pony up dude or you are going to see people avoid your team like the plague.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      You always buy the sizzzle and miss the steak. Don’t you?

  13. temporarilyexiled - Dec 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    As we can see from the picture you keep using. What now this time? Did his date ditch him?

  14. v2rotate - Dec 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Money isn’t a problem for the right guy. The issue is Hamilton was Plan B after Greinke so they are now on Plan C – play the young ones. Unfortunately they need #1 and #5 pitchers and a quality catcher.

  15. coloradogolfcoupons - Dec 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Daniels is posturing for the fans, when in reality he had no chance to land Greinke (Pitchers hate Arlington), and he had the last 4 months of watching Hamilton implode to decide they didn’t want him…but as a fan favorite, they had to pretend that they wanted him back. The last 4 months of the year cost Hamilton between 50-100 million. He sabotaged the Rangers, and himself, with one of the most disgusting displays of baseball by a man of his talent in baseball history. Effort and focus? None. Plate discipline? None. Truth in his statement that he gave 100% to the Rangers? None. Remorse that he got caught screwing a women in a bathroom of a Dallas bar the night his wife was undergoing surgery, and he was drunk out of his mind? None. He just played the ‘Jesus’ card and blamed it on his addiction, like the time he was caught licking whipped cream off a woman’s breast in Arizona 3 years ago. He learned he could whip out the addiction/Jesus card and thought all would be forgiven.

    Thoughts by Ryan/Daniels of resigning Hamilton after his implosion the last 4 months? None. Worries that the team would be worse off without Hamilton and Young? None. Remorse now that the Angels signed Hamilton? None. In fact, probably unmitigated joy.

    Daniels is a chess player. He knows his team’s capabilities, and he saw first hand how Hamilton quit on the team down the stretch, envisioned the future as a rapidly aging Hamilton turned into Vernon Wells Jr., and probably chortles with glee that the sucker Angels signed him, just as he did when CJ Wilson signed with them last year. Now the Angels are paying two of the biggest mental cases in MLB history a combined 42 million/yr, and the Rangers get to pound Wilson 5 times a yr and strike out Hamilton about 50 times a yr without ever throwing a strike.

    I wouldn’t be worrying about Jon boy expressing fake exasperation. Beneath his fake whining and posturing is a Bobby Fisher chess Grand Master who played this just right, and will continue to keep the Rangers in great position for now and in the future.

  16. digbysellers - Dec 18, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Big cry baby

  17. macjacmccoy - Dec 19, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    Sorry like it or not the Yankees have earned that by being doubted and still in the hunt year in and year out. The Rangers havent been that team which makes it an incredibly lazy comparison on your part.

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