Rangers, Daniels Big Trade Deadline Winners
Whoever ends up buying the Texas Rangers must make extending the contract of GM Jon Daniels their number one priority before the ink of the signature dries on the paperwork.
The work Daniels and his staff have done in July have vaulted the Rangers from a possible contender for a playoff spot to a World Series contender and they did so despite the ongoing bankruptcy saga.
Everything this team needed at the deadline Daniels was able to add from ace Cliff Lee to infield depth with Christian Guzman.
Not to mention the trade of Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Red Sox for three prospects and cash to reload an already stacked farm system.
How Daniels was able to get three players and cash for a catcher with the yips I'll never know, but he did it.
Now for the four players the Rangers added to the 25 man roster and their impact on the AL West race.
We all knew Cliff Lee was going to be a difference maker on the mound but his influence on the young arms in the Rangers rotation has been the most significant development.
Tommy Hunter and CJ Wilson have watched and apparently learned how to pitch more efficiently as each has started to rely on their fastball more than their breaking pitches.
The result? Fewer walks, quicker innings and a much more rested bullpen.
The Rangers have had a huge hole at first base for the entire season causing all kinds of issues for the bottom of the Rangers batting order.
It took some time but Daniels was finally able to address that hole with the addition of Jorge Cantu.
Splitting time with rookie Mitch Moreland, Cantu gives the Rangers a much needed veteran at the bottom of the order.
Bengie Molina might be the most underrated move the Rangers made this season because he brings one very important aspect to the team.
A World Series Championship.
Molina is not only an improvement defensively and a small improvement with the bat, but he also knows how to get his pitchers through a pennant race.
The Rangers needed that kind of influence for their young pitchers dealing with the pressure of a playoff push for the first time in their careers.
Guzman wasn't a need until right before the deadline when Ian Kinsler hit the DL with a groin strain.
With Kinsler expected to return in mid-August, Guzman is a nice addition to not only fill in at second, but he'll also be an upgrade for the Rangers bench when Kinsler does return.
All of these moves were just the latest in a string of incredible moves for the Rangers GM.
Since the deadline deals in 2007 Jon Daniels has owned the trade deadline each year. Making deals no one in the game thought the Rangers would be able to pull off, especially over the past two years having little money to work with.
Now Daniels can sit back and hope the team he built can make a run for something special.
If they do, Daniels better be first in line for the champagne shower because without him, the Rangers are not in this position.