By: Josh Clark
DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) – Fresh off of two significant moves, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels joined the Ben and Skin Show on 105.3 The Fan.
Daniels is thrilled to revamp his club and give them an opportunity to fight it out in the post-season, however it’s never easy to give up the future when doing so.
Among the six prospects that were dealt Monday was former first round pick Dillon Tate, a pitcher taken #4 overall in the 2015 draft. Despite Tate being picked so high, he’s struggled this season with Single-A Hickory, possibly making it easier for Daniels to move him in a trade for such an impact bat like Beltran.
“It was a tough decision, but we traded him today for Carlos Beltran. You can look at it two ways. One way is this guy is a free agent at the end of the year…. A big price to pay… A top pick like that so soon after you take him for a quote and quote rental player,” Daniels said. “Another one is we’re adding a timeless hitter here, a hall of fame guy that’s gonna help us a ton.”
Daniels continued, “you look up and I remember you kinda look at some of the great teams of the past down the stretch. The Blue Jays in the 90’s obviously is in the back of our minds. The way they would always go out and add Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield, these guys that were elite level hitters that were still really productive right in the middle of the order, and it changes the whole thing,” said Daniels. “It stretches the whole lineup out, takes pressure of other guys. Just a tremendous bat from both sides. A guy that’s never won a world series like Beltre. They’re gonna be motivated and play off each other. It’s not an easy decision to put Dillion Tate in any deal, but we’re thrilled to add Beltran to our lineup.”
When asked how the trades came about, Daniels says they knew they could make the deal with New York because Tate’s name hadn’t come up in any other discussions they were having with other clubs, notably Milwaukee.
“We had an idea we would be able to get a bat in Beltran. We got to the point where we felt like Tate was not going to be in the Milwaukee conversation or any of the other stuff we had going on, so we just kinda pulled the trigger and got the deal done with New York, and then we moved on to try and close out the Milwaukee deal.”
Going into the deadline, the team’s number one desire was to acquire a starting pitcher. Texas hadn’t gotten a win out of their rotation except for Cole Hamels since June 26th. A.J. Griffin finally ended the streak when he beat the Royals Friday night. However, despite the club’s desire, Daniels and his staff found it difficult to add to the rotation and opted to stand pat while waiting out the return of Derek Holland and Colby Lewis, who should both return at some point in August.
“Ultimately where we decided to go… let’s boost the lineup in a big way, let’s improve the defense, let’s fortify the bullpen and we feel like we got two aces and a number of other good pitchers, let’s get Colby (Lewis) and Derek (Holland) back healthy and take our shot.”
Another player Daniels will certainly miss is Lewis Brinson. Before the arrival of Ian Desmond, Brinson was seen as the future center fielder of the Rangers, and while Texas loves Desmond, they still have to resign him in the off-season.
“On a personal level, Lewis Brinson is just an absolute wonderful human being. He’s a great player, smart. His mom’s awesome. She did a great job raising him. We had him penciled in here to play center field. Corner locker, kind of be a leader on the team. That was a tough one,” Daniels said. “I just talked to him a little bit ago and he was super nice and understanding, it’s a business, I get it, thank you guys for the opportunity. I was hoping he’d curse me so I’d feel better about it,” Daniels said with a slight chuckle. “I wish all of these guys the best, but I probably connected with him the most on a personal level.”
In the deal that sent Milwaukee Brinson and prized prospect start Luis Ortiz, Texas acquires a big bat for a catcher spot that has been struggling offensively.
“He’s one of the best catchers in the game. A two-way player who makes our pitching staff better,” said Daniels in a press conference regarding Lucroy.
The other player Texas acquired in the deal is Milwaukee’s closer, Jeremy Jeffress, who becomes another tool for Banister to use at the back end of the bullpen.
“He’s been closing for Milwaukee, but that’s not the intent here. He’s somewhat similar to Dyson, his best pitch is a hard sinker. He’s really tough on right handed hitters. We’ll see how bullpen roles evolve. He definitely lengthens the bullpen out.”
Daniels also spoke on the impact the trades will have on Shin-Soo Choo, Joey Gallo and Jurickson Profar in the interview. To hear the rest of the discussion, listen to the podcast below.
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