As the Baseball Winter Meetings approach next week in Dallas, the Rangers are making some very curious comments and decisions. We’ve already questioned the extension that Tom Hicks gave John Hart last week. We’ve already dealt with the unsuccessful attempt to acquire Florida ace Josh Beckett. But now, Jon Daniels has been quoted as saying that Hank Blalock is not on the trading block.
I hope that this is just political attempt to keep Hank happy in case they don’t trade him. And, please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the Rangers need to get rid of Blalock. I am saying that, if the Rangers aren’t willing to trade Blalock then who are they willing to trade.
If the Rangers are serious about acquiring talent through trade, they are going to have to be willing to give up talent in return. To me that means that there is not a man on the roster that the Rangers should consider untouchable. They should be listen to offers for all of their players including Blalock, Soriano, Young, Teixiera and prospects like Danks and Diamond.
The Rangers are in a very precarious position here. I honestly believe that the Rangers will listen to trade offers for any of their players. But, can they really say that publicly? I don’t think so and I don’t expect them to.
It is unfortunate that Blalock’s name was mentioned in the failed Beckett deal. I’m sure that it caused some stress on him and his family. But, you know what? That’s baseball. And Hank’s a big boy. He can take it. No matter what they say publicly, I can only hope that the Rangers are open to listening to all possible trade scenarios.
I believe it is unfair, but, right now the Rangers have a credibility problem with their fans. Ranger fans are under the notion that the team is not really serious about acquiring players. When it comes to off season deals, Ranger fans think that the only thing that is coming out of Arlington is talk.
And, while I believe that perception is inaccurate, I will admit that there is plenty of evidence pointing to that side. Do you remember last year when the Rangers supposedly went after Carlos Delgado? The Rangers were reportedly willing to pay him as much as the Marlins (close to $12 million/yr). But, the deal disintegrated when Delgado refused to be a DH. In the court of public opinion, the Rangers are still paying for deals (or non-deals) like this one.
This is a very important off-season for the Rangers as far as public perception goes. And I’m afraid that it has gotten off to a very rocky start.