Once Again, Jon Daniels Owns the Trade Deadline
I remember when former owner Tom Hicks announced he was promoting Jon Daniels to general manager and having a strange gut feeling that despite his age, he would be the guy who finally put a winner on the field in Arlington.
I stuck with the boy genius through a rocky start to his career, especially in the trade department, believing he had learned something from each mistake.
Since the summer of 2007 Daniels and his front office team of super friends have proven just that.
He dealt the disgruntled Mark Teixiera to Atlanta for a king's ransom haul of prospects including Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison.
He outmaneuvered the evil empire to complete a trade for Cliff Lee at the deadline last season giving the Rangers the ace starter the team needed to compete with the rest of the league in October.
This season he has surpassed even the Lee trade from last season giving the Rangers perhaps the most balanced team in all of baseball.
The starting rotation has been one of the best in the league all season long, the offense when healthy has put together the normal offensive season fans in Arlington expect, but the bullpen has held the Rangers back from running away with the division.
Not a problem anymore.
Jon Daniels landed not one, but two outstanding relievers in Mike Adams and Koji Uehara while holding on to the organization's top tier of prospects and turning a weakness into a weapon in the process.
In a word, wow!
Now before anyone crowns the Rangers I would also like to caution you the Rangers rotation still has some young guys in Holland, Harrison and Ogando who may yet still have some inconsistencies in the second half of the season, but a 12 game winning streak shows what those starters are capable of when they get hot.
Now for what's ahead during these final two months of the season and hopefully a return to October baseball.
The Rangers starting rotation of Wilson, Lewis, Ogando, Harrison and Holland can breathe a little easier now knowing they have a bullpen behind them that can get the job done.
As Jamey Newberg suggested this morning, the revamped bullpen also allows the Rangers to control the workload for those young starters venturing into new territory in terms of innings pitched.
The offense, once healthy again, is what it is, a mashing offense expected to score a lot of runs in a variety of different ways.
The only real hole this team had before Daniels worked his usual July magic was in the bullpen with some serious concerns about everyone, including closer Neftali Feliz.
Adams and Uehara bring much needed stability and allow the Rangers to "shorten the game" to six innings with Uehara and Lowe set for the 7th inning, Adams in the 8th and Feliz to close things out.
In other words, the Rangers now have what could be the best bullpen in baseball to go along with their strong starting rotation and big time offense.
Gentleman start your engines.
As for Jon Daniels, Rangers fans should be thankful for the one decision Tom Hicks actually got right.