Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Rangers GM Daniels all in for second straight year

One season after getting Hamels, Texas added veterans Lucroy, Beltran
MLB.com @TracyRingolsby

The Texas Rangers learned their lesson well. After back-to-back American League titles in 2010 and '11 and the only World Series appearances in the history of a franchise that began as the expansion Senators in 1961, the Rangers saw how quickly opportunity could slip away.

Texas was one-and-done in the postseason as a Wild Card in 2012, missed the postseason in '13 and suffered a 95-loss season in '14, its worst record in 29 years.

The Texas Rangers learned their lesson well. After back-to-back American League titles in 2010 and '11 and the only World Series appearances in the history of a franchise that began as the expansion Senators in 1961, the Rangers saw how quickly opportunity could slip away.

Texas was one-and-done in the postseason as a Wild Card in 2012, missed the postseason in '13 and suffered a 95-loss season in '14, its worst record in 29 years.

So when the Rangers had a chance to make a statement in the standings a year ago and again this season, general manager Jon Daniels was aggressive on the trade front prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline both times.

The Rangers won the AL West a year ago, only to be eliminated by the Blue Jays in an AL Division Series that went the full five games. That year, they acquired rotation ace Cole Hamels, and relievers Sam Dyson and Jake Diekman at the Trade Deadline.

The Rangers were at it again on Deadline Day this year, acquiring catcher Jonathan Lucroy and reliever Jeremy Jeffress from the Brewers for three prospects on Aug. 1, plus outfielder Carlos Beltran from the Yankees. They were already six games ahead of the Astros at the time, but Texas is looking for more than being a postseason participant.

The Rangers are looking for the first World Series championship in franchise history.

Time will tell if Texas can reach that, but what is obvious is that six weeks after the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Rangers acquired two of the prime players to change teams at the Aug. 1 Deadline.

10 in-season investments paying big dividends
(Statistics through Sunday)

• Left-hander Aroldis Chapman is the ninth-inning exclamation point for the Cubs, who were able to put Hector Rondon into a setup role when they added Chapman from the Yankees. Chapman hasn't disappointed since arriving from the Yanks. He is 13-for-15 in saves with a 1.37 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings.

• Right-hander Mark Melancon has addressed that ninth-inning role for a Nationals team that is looking to be more than a postseason participant. Since his arrival from the Pirates, Melancon is 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA and 11-for-11 in saves in 21 appearances. The rest of the Nats' relievers are a combined 29-for-41 in save situations this season.

• Lucroy not only has provided energy and consistency behind the plate for the Rangers, but he has hit .298 with 10 home runs and 25 RBIs in his first six weeks with the Rangers.

• Left-hander Andrew Miller, who like Chapman was an offseason free-agent sign of the Yankees, has become the perfect complement to closer Cody Allen with the Indians. Miller has converted the three save opportunities he has been given while compiling a 2.41 ERA.

• Left-hander Rich Hill continues to battle blister problems -- and it was a fear of flaring up the blisters that led Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to remove him after seven perfect innings on Saturday -- but in the three starts he has made since arriving from the A's, he's 3-0 and has worked 19 scoreless innings. He has been a welcomed addition to a rotation ravished by injuries.

• Beltran has filled the void created by medical issues that forced Prince Fielder to announce his retirement in midseason, hitting .285 with five home runs and 22 RBIs while splitting time between DH and right field.

• Lefty Matt Moore hasn't dominated for the Giants, but after losing his first three decisions in San Francisco, he is 3-1 in his past four starts, the loss coming at Coors Field when he gave up six runs in 2 2/3 innings. He has allowed only three earned runs in 21 innings the three other starts, including coming within an out of a no-hitter in Dodger Stadium.

• Lefty reliever Zach Duke has been all the Cardinals could have asked for. He's allowed one run in 16 1/3 innings of 18 appearances, allowing only three of 17 inherited runners to score and limiting hitters to a .211 average.

• Right-hander Brad Ziegler was acquired by the Red Sox to move from the Diamondbacks' closer into an eighth-inning role, and he has responded with a 1.61 ERA in 23 appearances, striking out 26 batters in 22 1/3 innings with his unique delivery.

• Lefty Mike Montgomery can't be overlooked. He has given the Cubs versatility, working in relief initially and more recently asked to start. Montgomery isn't stretched out to work deep into games yet, but the Cubs have won three of his four starts. He allowed one run in five innings of the one start the Cubs lost.

Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Texas Rangers