Non-waiver trade deadline, we hardly knew ye.
Been holding my breath for a couple of weeks, hoping the Rangers don't make another move*. Yes, I am being serious. I know they could use a bat. I am not brain, you know, stupid. In my brain. We're not talking about Giancarlo Stanton here, we're talking about reality. Stanton would've been a real, long term solution to a real need. That you consider any day of the week. Of course that would also involve talking to the Marlins and who knows how serious they ever were**?
No, this was a picked-through thrift store of a trade deadline: very little Good, lots of Bad (contracts) and Ugly (injury histories) and whatever the hell hybrid of those three Andre Either is. This was not a class worth throwing anything else at. Although after weeks of hustle trying to find a bat, Jon Daniels, at the last minute, slapped on the lipstick and what he did was he proverbially strutted, put everything on the table and said, "Come and get it, boys." Hungry move bro.
And what does it say? Jon Daniels parted with Mike Olt a couple of weeks ago. I didn't think much of Olt, but the Rangers did. And they moved him for an expiring contract that fills a need right now. Then JD offered to entertain trading ANYONE for offense. Jon Daniels wants to salvage this season very badly. I don't think the passing of the non-waiver deadline is going to deflate that balloon. Just. Yet.
And that's relevant because the Rangers can still try to find a bat with a waiver trade. You know what's next. It rhymes with shmushmensions and it has got to drum up at least some of what nerds would call "demand". Will the Rangers or somebody else who still feels they are a contender still look to make a move? Realistically, no. Waiver trades are somewhat rare. But this is a rare year, so if there was a year for a contender to do a little August fishing, it'd be 2013. Only thing is....Listen sport, the Rangers aren't really a contender.
Yeeeeeah, sorry. Something can happen, sure. Lots of season left. But it won't. If that scrappy bunch from '04***, who won 89 games, was the little engine that could, this bunch is the very old and talented engine that could have, but was busted instead. It's been a good fight, they'll probably win 90 games, but the mathematical hill is too steep. If this team could break the time-space continuum and trade a couple of to be names for '04 or '05 David Delucci, then they would be in business. Although the time travel aspect would probably get bigger coverage.
But I don't think that's happening, and that's good (time travel is garbage as a literary device). Because it wouldn't be worth derailing any more long term plans just to, you know, not pick up the 5 or 6 games they'll need to make up to win the division. And they still might make up those games - they're in a weak division and they're pitching staff is set to be loaded here shortly - but whether the Rangers close the gap with Oakland or sputter, they're better off in the long term doing it with the team they already have.
*Not that I object to the Garza trade. Necessarily. For now. Garza has delivered, but the fact that he can deliver and the trade could still end up a bust if the Rangers fail to make up ground when he isn't pitching is interesting. It makes his performance (outside of Dempstering it up) irrelevant in a sense. If the Rangers had made up a few games on Oakland in the immediate aftermath of that trade, all is well. Great trade made to look great based on the games that were played outside of its influence. The other side of this is (mostly) Mike Olt.
Mike Olt is 25 this month. Age-wise… he's too old to still be a prospect. Could he still turn out? Sure, all it takes is a chance (and the ability to hit off-speed pitches). Ryan Howard and, of course, Chris Davis are two examples of long-term (freakin' old) prospects who worked out. Olt could be one of them. Or he could be Justin Smoak. What Jon Daniels can't have happen is for Mike Olt to ever pan out and Matt Garza to bolt at season's end. It won't be Sammy Sosa for Harold Baines (a trade that's always taken out of the context - it took Sammy Sosa 6 years to get good), but trust me, the legend of Mike Olt will swell if he does anything and it turns out the Rangers got a cup of coffee in return. Whatever.
Hopefully Garza re-signs. Speculation of this order reeks of the futility of grading the NFL draft right after it happens. You won't know how well you've done until it plays. But if you want to talk about it and give it a grade, even though it's baseball, you could probably thaw out Mel Kiper Jr and ask, provided the hibernation sickness hasn't taken hold.
**Dude, the Marlins aren't ever shipping him. Or they are. Or not. The Marlins brass is a clown car of weirdos and grifters. They say they're not dealing. That could be true. It could also be a lie meant to conceal Jeffrey Loria doing something weird, like selling live geese on the street and doing that cat eyes thing of his or something equally as... bizarre. They are the wild card of life.
***When I saw the '04 roster at the end of training camp, my immediate thought was that this was a sucky team full of sucks, who were bound to suck, probably suckily. You rule, low expectations.