Rangers Get Pudge

“You trade away your starting catcher, it could send mixed messages. This time of year is when you’re looking to make additions, if you feel your team is close enough. We didn’t do that. We chose to make a subtraction.”

-Astros third baseman Geoff Blum.

I’m sure Blum means well and takes pride in his team and all, but has he taken a look around lately? The Astros are a bad baseball team. They’re lucky to be just ten games back of the Cardinals with their -73 differential in runs scored/runs allowed. Looking at various playoff odds that are based on crazy things like, you know, math, Houston has a .2% chance of reaching the playoffs. I have a better chance at being elected the Prime Minister of Bulgaria than the Astros playing in the postseason. Nothing short of acquiring Tim Lincecum and Albert Pujols through the help of Jedi mind tricks can save Houston’s season, and I get the feeling that Ed Wade is not that strong in the ways of the Force.

Ivan Rodriguez is part of the reason the Astros are bad. He has a .285 wOBA, putting him in Willy Taveras, Jason Kendall and Emilio Bonifacio like-territory of ineptitude. The fact that the Astros got two C grade prospects in return for the charred remains of Pudge should be considered to be quite a coup.

The Rangers seem to be bringing I-Rod back for nostalgia’s sake, and a heavy helping of good ol’ intangibles. He’ll be backing up Taylor Teagarden, who Marc wrote about yesterday. ZiPS forecasts a .299 wOBA the rest of the year for Pudge. Teagarden is projected to rebound with a .319 wOBA the rest of the way.

Going to Houston is Matt Nevarez, 22, who working out of the bullpen was overpowering batters in Low-A with a 13.2 K/9. He’s going to be Rule 5 eligible this season if Houston doesn’t add him to their 40-man, but that may not be necessary as he probably would not get drafted. 2B Jose Vallejo was ranked in the Ranger’s Top 20 prospects by Baseball America, and the Ranger’s system is quite deep. He’s hit a wall in Triple-A, but hit .292/.345/.415 with 42 steals in 46 attempts between High-A and Double-A last year, and is said to have good range. Neither player is going to turn around the Astros, but credit Ed Wade for getting something out of nothing.



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Erik Manning is the founder of Future Redbirds and covers the Cardinals for Heater Magazine. You can get more of his analysis and rantings in bite-sized bits by following him on twitter.


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rfs1962
Guest
6 years 11 months ago

Agreed. They’ve gone 7-16 since hitting the high-water mark of 50-46. This is what happens when you do that.

Ghoul
Guest
Ghoul
6 years 11 months ago

I don’t get this trade for the rangers. Teagarden has a great defensive rep, is younger, faster, a better hitter, with more power. Pudge is a notorious first half guy whose defense has slipped in recent years, and his bat has been subpar. Add in the money the Rangers pay, and you wonder how Wade pulled this off. Two bodies is almost too high a price. Nostalgia is something you maybe pay an aging free agent for, for a bad team. I just don’t get this trade. It’s not gonna be worth much at all.

t ball
Guest
t ball
6 years 11 months ago

I see it as a decent deal for both clubs. Teagarden is going to start, Pudge will be a decent backup on a club whose catching depth is injured or recovering from injury. In addition to being an ok backup catcher, Pudge can be a mentor for Teagarden (and Salty I suppose) and a good clubhouse influence, and provides an enormous PR boost for the fans, he’s 2nd only to Nolan Ryan in Ranger fan legendness.

Nevarez might turn out to be a good reliever, Vallejo will be a surprise to see more than a cup of coffee.

Nick
Guest
Nick
6 years 11 months ago

Damn… I used to like Blum.

Steve
Guest
Steve
6 years 11 months ago

and now you don’t, b/c he wants to win and made some mild complaints b/c he feels the team is less likely to win now? that’s a little odd.

Joe R
Guest
Joe R
6 years 11 months ago

Obviously you want phoning it in to be a trait of your favorite players.

Adam D
Guest
Adam D
6 years 11 months ago

As a Rangers fan, I’m okay with this… we get a guy who can play every 4th day to give Teagarden some rest, is not a tremendous drop-off from what we were getting from the catcher position anyways, and can play the Omar Vizquel role to Teagarden’s Andrus-role. As much as it is nostalgia (and I do love having him back), it’s chemistry too as he can show the young guys (especially Teagarden) how to prepare for a game and tell them what it takes to get to the playoffs.

Garrett
Guest
Garrett
6 years 11 months ago

Yeah I don’t mind this deal for either side. I’m sure unless one of the players takes a huge leap, Vallejo or Nevarez won’t be missed and Pudge could give a shot in the arm to a team in contention and sell a few tickets/team store dollars.

Ezra
Guest
Ezra
6 years 11 months ago

A rested Pudge could have some value as a PH for the Rangers if they get to the post season. If nothing else, he won’t be baffled by the Pedros and Moyers who seem to have a 1.00 ERA against anyone 25 an under.

Matt
Guest
Matt
6 years 11 months ago

You forgot to use Blum’s official title.

it’s World Series Hero Geoff Blum

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