One Unlikely Familiar Face Returns
In case you haven't read the greatness of the Powerhouse in awhile, the Texas Rangers have suffered a mass exodus this offseason. Either the players liked Buck Showalter much more than was believed or teams or throwing away money like its going out of style this offseason.
Despite the player loss, I've stated the only departure I'm truly disappointed in is Gary Matthews, Jr. His center field play will be tough to replace. However, a couple of big names and guys who had big years have left so things look bad for Jon Daniels. In fact, I've been warming tar in the garage and bagging feathers from my worn pillows just in case we need it.
But, today, the bleeding has slowed. Righthanded starter Vicente Padilla officially signed his three-year $34 million contract today. Now the Rangers at least have three-fifths of their rotation in place: Padilla, Kevin Millwood, and Robinson Tejeda. This is a group with promise.
That's not bad. It's relatively early in the offseason for the Rangers to have this much of a rotation in place. And I don't think there are any Ryan "One-hit Wonder" Drese's in this group. And excuse my naivete, but I expect all three to be better in 2007 with a season of American League pitching in the Ballpark. (I understand Millwood pitched for Cleveland in 2005, but the Ballpark is another world.)
Next, the Rangers have Mark Mulder in for a visit on Tuesday. Now he's coming off an injury and may not pitch until after the All Star break, so he could be this year's Adam Eaton. The difference is the Rangers know going in he's a few months out and he's a more established pitcher. And for a guy with a career postseason ERA under 2.50 and who hasn't had 10 losses since his rookie year, it may be well worth the risk. Then, there's the other former A whose name has been mentioned enough on this blog already.
So the possibilty exists Jon Daniels makes this a blockbuster offseason. Otherwise, I'm going to need more pillows.