In July 2007, Jon Daniels cut a deal that sent Mark Teixeira and a left-handed reliever to the Atlanta Braves. In exchange, the Rangers got a handful of prospects that you may have heard of.
Texas was in the midst of a decade of futility and 2007 would be their 3rd straight losing season. It became apparent that the status quo wasn’t working, so Jon Daniels finally committed to the dreaded R-word.
It would be two years before the fruits of the deal could be harvested, and another year after that before the club would be ready to take that next step. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now fast forward to today…
Coming off of a disappointing 2012 season, the Rangers were expected to make some big moves, which have all pretty much failed to materialize. Fans and media alike are wringing their hands and pacing with worry.
If you listen closely, you might even hear some people use the dreaded R-word. “Are the Rangers…rebuilding?” they’ll ask in a hushed whisper.
In my opinion, there is an appropriate R-word to use here, but it isn’t rebuilding. The word I would choose is reloading.
To rebuild something is to tear it down completely and start from scratch. The 2007 Rangers were on a treadmill to mediocrity, so Jon Daniels took one of their more valuable assets and turned it into 2 pitchers, a catcher, and a shortstop with an 80 grade smile.
Of course, everyone knew at the time that those prospects wouldn’t pay off immediately. The deal needed time to mature, which meant a couple more years of just okay baseball.
The 2013 Rangers don’t look anything like the clubs from ’07 and ‘08. They’ve got Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and that shortstop with the smile. They’ve also got guys in the minors that countless other teams would kill for, including another shortstop with a great smile.
They’ve got talent at every level and they’ll be more than competitive this season. Of course they’d be better with Zack Greinke and/or Josh Hamilton, but sometimes it makes more sense to take one step back before taking 2 steps forward.
The window is wide open and the team is still very focused on winning, so please stop throwing around so many dirty words.
Press on, Rangers fans.
Mike Luna is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning.com. He can be reached at Mike.Luna@shutdowninning.com or on Twitter @twbbg.