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  1. “But signing A.J. Pierzynski — who had spent the entirety of his 15-year career with the White Sox before joining the Rangers — was completely new.”

    AJP spent 6 years with the Twins and 1 year with the Giants prior to going to the South Side.

    Comment by Dan Out West — January 4, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

  2. Pierzynski has not played his entire career with the White Sox. He’s played with the Giants and Twins, off the top of my head.

    Comment by Don Draper — January 4, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

  3. Oy. What a stupid mistake. Fixing. Thanks.

    Comment by Paul Swydan — January 4, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

  4. Yup. Not sure what I was thinking there. Thanks.

    Comment by Paul Swydan — January 4, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

  5. Where are Olt and Profar going to play? Seems to me Profar and Olt will start the season at triple a if they’re not traded.

    Comment by Will — January 4, 2013 @ 4:10 pm

  6. Profar is going to start at second. Olt will platoon at DH, and also get time at third and maybe first. Last season, Michael Young started 25 games at third. There will be enough playing time for Olt.

    Comment by Paul Swydan — January 4, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

  7. I thought we were going to lose Fangraphs Headquarters in Arlington, VA. Phew!

    Comment by Cody — January 4, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

  8. Profar starts at second, so, Kinsler to CF? Isn’t that where Martin and Gentry split time? Kinsler to first over Moreland?

    Comment by wobatus — January 4, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

  9. “And while both players are seasoned, they should be better than last year.” Do you really believe that AJP will improve on 2012?

    Comment by BalkingHeads — January 4, 2013 @ 4:23 pm

  10. Kinsler to either first or right field is my opinion. I think right field is the better call, because Cruz’s range has detororiated (covered it here: http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove12/story/_/id/8635127/texas-rangers-need-get-rid-michael-young-mlb) but I have heard first base more frequently as his destination.

    Comment by Paul Swydan — January 4, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

  11. Sorry, poorly worded. Meant in tandem they should be better than the Rangers’ catching situation from last year.

    Comment by Paul Swydan — January 4, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

  12. Thanks for clarifying, Paul.

    Comment by wobatus — January 4, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

  13. Pierzinski didn’t spend his entire 15 year career with the White Sox.
    That’s a pretty basic error.

    Comment by lexomatic — January 4, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

  14. I wish I could delete this. No comments were showing when I posted.

    Comment by lexomatic — January 4, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

  15. This team has a number of interesting platoon options 1b, DH, CF, C and LF if you don’t buy into David Murphy against lefties. I wonder if we see Washington use a number of different platoons?

    Comment by Whale — January 4, 2013 @ 4:33 pm

  16. Good write-up Paul. I agree with you that the general narrative has been that the Rangers “lost” the off-season because they saw Hamilton go and didn’t get Greinke. Clearly a bunch of malarky. I don’t think they were ever serious about signing Greinke or Hamilton to the kind of contracts they were expected to get. It doesn’t fit with their methodology. They have some money, but they haven’t become successful by spending big on free-agents. It has always been about depth and letting the market come to them.

    They got Feliz, Andrus, Harrison, and Salty in a trade when the Braves decided to overpay for Teixeira. They originally acquired Hamilton in a trade. Adrian Beltre was signed for a pretty reasonable deal after it became clear the market for him didn’t develop the way Boras hoped. The Darvish signing was smart because much of the money doesn’t count against them for luxury tax purposes.

    This is a team that was built with a strong farm system, smart trades, and smart FA signings. I’m glad to see that they’re sticking with their principles and not overpaying for guys passed their prime.

    Comment by Caveman Jones — January 4, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

  17. Will the Rangers be anywhere close to paying the luxury tax? I know this was a big benefit to Darvish for some teams but it doesn’t seem like the Rangers will get close enough to $178M this year or $189M thereafter for it to make a difference.

    Comment by LK — January 4, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

  18. unless they’re intent on going young, wouldn’t you think Olt for Upton is very doable? They could move Nelson Cruz (who would be a nice fit for several teams) to open up RF.

    Comment by Spike — January 4, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

  19. That’s a good point. I don’t think they will be close (maybe $120M?), but I admit I don’t follow the Rangers that closely. However, I think the idea of paying more now and less in the future appeals to a franchise that likes to be flexible.

    Comment by Caveman Jones — January 4, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

  20. If by Olt, you mean Olt, Perez, and Buckel. Then yes, it could work. Not sure how many people want a 32 year old outfielder whose defense and base running have fallen and provides good if unspectacular offense. He’s also coming off his worst season posting only 105 wRC+ and although playing in a career high 159 games last year, averaged only 120 games the prior three years from injuries. I’d guess he could fetch a mid-level prospect and a low level prospect.

    Comment by Samuel Deduno — January 4, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

  21. Not to mention that a few games against the astros will keep the w’s coming

    Comment by PJB — January 4, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

  22. Taking away a couple of impact bats like Hamilton and Napoli makes the entire lineup weaker. Easier to pitch around guys like Beltre and Cruz.

    Also, the starting rotation had issues last year so they had to go out and get Dempster. not that he did much. The rotation needs to be better than last year to cover the weaker offense.

    With the improvements the Angels made, the Rangers will be looking for a WC spot. The addition of the Astros should spot them 3 or 4 wins, making it a slam dunk that at least 1 WC spot comes out of the AL West. I guess it will be a battle between the Rangers and A’s.

    Not the end of the world, but I would write off their chances of winning the division.

    Comment by pft — January 4, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

  23. The Rangers are no where close to that. Their payroll will be nearly identical to last years’ ($120M) after all the arb cases are settled.

    Comment by l1ay — January 4, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

  24. The Angels had the AL West locked up last off-season too, how’d that work out?

    Comment by l1ay — January 4, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

  25. I think you’re prob overstating Cruz’s ineffectiveness. Just the prior October he was more or less the toast of the sport. Anywho, I’m not claiming they’re going to get a king’s ransom for him but there are prob 3 teams in the NL East alone that could very much use a RHed hitting corner OFer.

    Comment by Stinky — January 4, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

  26. I keep hearing those rumors, I have some doubts they do this.

    Comment by Jon Williams — January 4, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

  27. i doubt you are the real sam deduno

    Comment by jim — January 5, 2013 @ 12:12 am

  28. Could you now write something about how the Cardinals don’t have to be worried about their middle infield situation since Descalso and Kozma have it locked down? I’ll feel much better.

    Just kidding…sort of. The Rangers have the depth to sub in for those they’ve lost. The Cards, though they have a tremendous farm system, don’t have a SS like Profar waiting in the wings.

    Comment by chuckb — January 5, 2013 @ 1:17 am

  29. That helps for a wildcard spot but not for winning the division, since every other team in the AL West plays the Astros too.

    Comment by ac1212 — January 5, 2013 @ 1:41 am

  30. I give the Rangers a 35% chance of making the playoffs with the roster they have right now. Not impossible but not likely. You just can’t depend on many prospects to carry your team.

    Comment by Brian — January 5, 2013 @ 2:57 am

  31. George Washington used different platoons; I can’t imagine Ron Washington doing that.

    Comment by Baltar — January 5, 2013 @ 10:08 am

  32. Sure, if you overlook that they stubbornly signed a bad player without a position to a huge contract, held onto him for at least two years too long (while he cost them a win or two each year – as the above spells out pretty clearly), and are now going to replace him in part with a platoon that includes a vastly overhyped platoon only player who they could have traded for Greinke.

    Yep, that’s prize winning front office if you completely overlook all of that.

    Comment by Paul — January 5, 2013 @ 1:39 pm

  33. so did nolan ryan beat up your puppy or something?

    Comment by jim — January 5, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

  34. Looks like the Rangers are adding Berkman to DH, which seems like a very worthwhile gamble at this point.

    Comment by ralph — January 5, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

  35. I think you’re putting to much faith in the rookies. There is going to be an adjustment period for all of them. And you know, the enigma that is Hamilton could out WAR all of them combine.

    Comment by Miguel — January 5, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

  36. It’s interesting to me that no one seems to want Mike Olt, as if that’s true it’s one time where all parties are making the smart move instead of buying inflated minor league numbers. The Rangers appear very motivated to move him and yet the Braves didn’t want to acquire him for Simmons and the Diamondbacks don’t want him as the main piece for Upton.

    Comment by jdbolick — January 5, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

  37. No, they may or may not have been willing to move him (the rumors that they offered him for Dickey may not have been true, according to one source I’ve read), but they have repeated refused to include him in deals.

    Comment by Ajax — January 5, 2013 @ 6:07 pm

  38. RE: And you know, the enigma that is Hamilton could out WAR all of them combine.

    Or he could miss 2-3 months of the season like he has before.

    Comment by Ajax — January 5, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

  39. Or, you know, the Braves and the Diamondbacks share pretty much everyone’s opinion that Simmons and Upton are more valuable than Olt. It could be that too.

    Comment by byron — January 5, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

  40. Because shuffling players out of their preferred positions usually works out so well? What you’re suggesting sounds more like a fan’s “why don’t they just” than it does a realistic solution. I think there’s a lot of room for that to go wrong, and reason not to do it when thinking about the team long-term.

    Comment by Bip — January 5, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

  41. With third base looking like it is across baseball I don’t believe no one wants Mike Olt.

    Comment by Bip — January 5, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

  42. Click in, dammit, click in!

    Comment by PillsburyFlowboy — January 6, 2013 @ 8:58 am

  43. Moreland has played some RF in the past as has Olt. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Moreland included in some package. He has been requested in trades in the past by cost conscious teams

    Comment by David — January 6, 2013 @ 9:42 am

  44. And yet no one has traded for him while the Ranges signed Lance Berkman instead of giving Olt the DH job.

    Comment by jdbolick — January 6, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

  45. “Lineup protection” is a joke

    Comment by Nick — January 6, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

  46. The Rangers will have egg all over their face this season because of their decisions this offseason. The Angels got better while the Rangers got OBJECTIVELY worse. By making the rigid, stupid decision to never “overpay” for anyone, they come into the season lagging behind. They’ll be lucky to get into the one game playoff.

    They should overpay for Bourn the way the Tigers overpaid for Fielder. It worked out really well for them because they knew they were one player away. Bourn putting up 4 WAR next year will go a long way toward winning the division back.

    Comment by RMD — January 6, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

  47. Would FG management please delete that crap from “the good shopping place”. In fact, delete the account entirely.

    Comment by Matt — January 6, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

  48. My fault. Meant to delete it this morning when I saw it. Should be gone now.

    Comment by Paul Swydan — January 6, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

  49. The Angels WAR last year was good for 92 wins (+45). They under-performed by 3 wins. This is likely because they got so much better when Trout came up, but they were so bad before him. Trout game them diminishing returns (which is good because they had the best record for that period anyway). Next year, they will stay about even with their lineup and defense combined. They tremendously improved their bullpen, and their rotation is highly likely to be better considering how bad it was last year.

    Comment by KrunchyGoodness — January 7, 2013 @ 12:38 am

  50. How exactly did the Angels get better? They replaced a 5.3 fWAR player (Hunter) with a 4.4 fWAR player (Hamilton). The 148 games played by Hamilton last year, btw, was the second most in his career. The last three seasons before that? He played 89, 133, 121 games each. I’m not sold on their starting pitching either. Hanson, Vargas, and Blanton in the same rotation? Meh. And as much of a transcendent talent Trout is, you can’t reasonably count on him to have another 10 WAR season (and yes, I’m fully aware that he didn’t play for almost a full month last year).

    All things considered, I struggle to see how the Angels got better.

    Comment by elijah — January 7, 2013 @ 1:21 am

  51. How exactly did the Angels get better? They replaced a 5.3 fWAR player (Hunter) with a 4.4 fWAR player (Hamilton). The 148 games played by Hamilton last year, btw, was the second most in his career. The last three seasons before that? He played 89, 133, 121 games each. I’m not sold on their starting pitching either. Hanson, Vargas, and Blanton in the same rotation? Not exactly sexy. And as much of a transcendent talent Trout is, you can’t reasonably count on him to have another 10 WAR season (and yes, I’m fully aware that he didn’t play for almost a full month last year).

    All things considered, I struggle to see how the Angels got better.

    Comment by elijah — January 7, 2013 @ 1:23 am

  52. @elijah: Since you brought up WAR regression (twice), do you really expect for Torii Hunter to replicate his career high WAR, or should we expect for that to knock off by a run and a half to get him to his career avg? If we’re being rigorous, we should go ahead and knock off another half a run from there since he’s really old. FYI, this is where the projections have him.

    We can reasonably expect Hamilton to repeat his 2012 WAR. So there you go, they improve by at least 1.5 WAR. You’re welcome.

    Comment by Paul — January 7, 2013 @ 9:04 am

  53. “To find a player who racked up at least 600 plate appearances in a season and accumulated a worse WAR than Young’s -1.4 mark from 2012, you have to go back to Marquis Grissom in 2000.” Jeff Francoeur last year?

    Comment by Hurtlockertwo — January 7, 2013 @ 10:44 am

  54. They will play fewer games against the Astros this year. Last year they played the Astros six times while the rest of the division didn’t play the Astros at all. This year, the Rangers play the Astros just as many times as the rest of the division; ergo the Rangers really have 6 fewer games against the Astros this year.

    Comment by Rick — January 7, 2013 @ 4:50 pm

  55. @Paul: when elijah says how did the Angels get better, he means how did they get better compared to last year; not how did they get better compared to what they would have otherwise been projected to do be in the future.
    They had Hunter who produced 5.3 fWAR last year, and he’s been replaced by Hamilton, who you are guessing to produce ~1 fWAR worse than Hunter did. Therefore, the Angels from that trade off will be one win worse next year compared to last year.

    Comment by Rick — January 7, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

  56. Nah he just doesn’t like GWB.

    Comment by DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy — January 8, 2013 @ 12:03 am

  57. The Tiggers still came up short…

    Comment by DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy — January 8, 2013 @ 12:04 am

  58. Yup, it’s supposed to be really easy now for guys to pitch to Beltre and Cruz i guess……or maybe they will walk them every time up? Is that what that means?

    Comment by DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy — January 8, 2013 @ 12:09 am

  59. The fact that you think of Ogando and Feldman as about equal shows to me you’re simply looking at their 2012 FIP and saying that’s that.

    How anyone could say Feldman is anywhere close to being in the same league as Ogando boggles my mind.

    Comment by robwinnfield — January 13, 2013 @ 3:17 am

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