Monday, August 1, 2005

Nevin Parked in Arlington

The trade deadline has come and gone. And all the big trade rumors that people were talking about turned out to be nothing.

Among the people who did not make a move was the Houston Astros. Apparently all our prospects are now contributing to the big club. I guess if you think highly of your prospects enough to play them it makes it a little hard to trade them.

The Rangers, on the other hand, made one of the most curious deals at the trade deadline, picking up Phil Nevin in exchange for Chan Ho Park.

This deal does not make sense on a whole lot of levels. First, there's the obvious problem of not having your #2 starter when your ace is going to go on the shelf for 20 games.

Granted, that pitcher is a career 4.18 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. I can't tell sabermetrics from a Sabre Jet at times, but I know those are bad numbers. However, the good pitchers the Rangers have are still working their way through the minors, and the pitchers they have on the big club currently need go back there and stay there.

Furthermore, the Rangers want to make long term commitments to Mark Texiera and Hank Blalock. On paper, dealing for Nevin doesn't make sense because he only plays first and third, where Blalock and Texiera reside. Also, Nevin can still play infield, so bringing him in as a DH doesn't make sense either.

I think there's something behind the scenes that was overshadowed by the camera assault.

It was brought up during the Kenny Rogers' discussion by several members of the Metroplex media, most notably the Dallas Morning News' Kevin Sherrington, that there was a rift developing in between management and players because the players felt that management, specifically John Hart, wasn't doing what it takes to win now.

When Rogers punched the water cooler, John Hart, who didn't have the guts to say it himself, got one of his subordinates to tell two members of the Dallas media that Kenny Rogers was getting injured on purpose to avoid some teams that could hit him well, raise his ERA, and hurt his contract negotiations in the offseason.

Which is about the worst thing you can falsely accuse a player of. Kenny Rogers may not handle a cameraman well, but he's not going to miss a start unless he's in a body cast. In fact, he pitched his next start, broken hand and all.

A lot of the Ranger players saw this as management stabbing Kenny Rogers in the back. Dallas-area talk show host Mike Rhyner said on 1300 The Zone that Mark Texiera and Hank Blalock are worried about getting the same treatment from Rangers' management once their contracts are up.

So behind this backdrop of the clubhouse questioning management's commitment to win, and Texiera and Blalock already wanting to leave at the first opportunty, the Rangers bring in Phil Nevin, who can play either of their positions.

Looks like either Texiera or Blalock might be gone, though not until the offseason.

Tomorrow: TBA
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