Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington, who’d make a great Bob, if Tyler Perry ever wished to remake Twin Peaks, told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon that since Neftali Feliz is joining the Rangers rotation, he wants someone from outside the organization to become the team’s new closer.

I have confidence in Jon Daniels and our scouts. I’m 100 percent sure they’ll go out there and find somebody to close ballgames down for us.

Washington’s confidence in the team’s general manager and scouting staff apparently doesn’t extend to the current crop of in house candidates to fill a role that probably does more harm than good.

Who do we have in our bullpen that’s closed ballgames down? We ain’t talking about ‘might be able to.’ This ain’t about ‘might be able to close a ballgame down.’ We need somebody that’s bona fide to close ballgames down. But, like I said, if we need to stay in-house, we’ll figure that out. I feel comfortable with all our relief pitchers, but we’re talking about a closer. You know, those guys can probably close games, and if we have to, we’ll find someone. But I’m more than certain that Jon Daniels will find us a closer, not a seventh- or eighth-inning pitcher.

Yeah, because going with an unproven closer worked out so horribly for the team in 2010.

We’ve talked before about how relatively new to baseball the role of the closer is, and how its existence is reinforced by the ultimately useless save statistic.  While a typical closer has been proven to be worth about half a win per year to teams protecting one run leads, waiting to use the best reliever on a team has also resulted in far more games getting out of reach.  In other words there are fewer close games and fewer chances for a team to come back from a smaller deficit when they hold out on using their closing pitcher until the ninth inning rather than at the point when run expectancy is at it’s greatest.

Still, upon hearing Washington’s wish list being made public, if I’m Alex Anthopoulos I’m immediately on the phone with Daniels offering the Rangers Octavio Dotel and his 105 career saves for the newly available Chris Davis, who has asked for a trade if he’s not going to get regular playing time at first base this year in Texas.

I’m putting a little bit of tongue in my cheek suggesting that the Rangers would be interested in such a trade, but I’m not making up the idea of potential interest from the Blue Jays.  While his Major League numbers have failed to impress, the twenty-five year old Davis, who has raked at every level of Minor League Baseball, would make for a nice insurance policy for the Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion experiments at first base and designated hitter.

A deal would also make me wonder about how quickly the Rangers would’ve pulled the trigger on the Mike Napoli for Frank Francisco swap if Texas knew what they know now.

And The Rest

Oakland A’s closer Andrew Bailey has been diagnosed with a strained right forearm.  That’s good news for the Athletics, who along with everyone else in baseball, likely assumed the worst after watching the pitcher fall to the ground in pain on Monday night after appearing to injure his elbow.

Dear fantasy baseball managers, may I direct your attention to Florida Marlins rookie third baseman Matt Dominguez?

Now, may I direct it to a dumb sports radio host trying ever so hard to be shocking and appalling by calling fantasy baseball managers an array of names?

Barry Bonds continues to be the most transparent person in the world as yet another reporter pretends to understand the home run king’s motivations through assumptions.

Charlie Sheen may be asked to throw out the first pitch at Cleveland’s home opener.

The Washington Post remembers back to when getting a scoop at all mattered.

In addition to completely lucking out with his baseball club, Brian Sabean is into rings on his fingers.

Derek Jeter answers such hardball questions as what makes you so awesome in this GQ feature.

The headline reads Tony LaRussa – baseball’s oldest manager, but actually Charlie Manuel is even more aged.

Finally, despite Steve Karsay’s opinion, Aaron Rowand honours Ian Snell’s retirement with his baseball bat:

Comments (14)

  1. You could take that Dominguez article and put Brett Lawrie’s name in and it would ring just as true.

  2. @NV The difference is that Dominguez has four years of minor-league experience compared to two by Lawrie. And the Jays aren’t in as dire a need for a third baseman. The alternatives for the Marlins are Wes Helms and Greg Dobbs. It makes way more sense to give Dominguez a crack. Also, Lawrie has barely played at third whereas Dominguez has done so for years.

    I would be very, very surprised if the Jays start Lawrie’s clock this early. MAYBE a September callup, but IMO, that’s even stretching it.

  3. I can’t stop laughing at that video

  4. I think Lawrie staying depends on a number of things…. and its a long list of ifs…

    If Juan Rivera can re-establish some trade value in the first few months, and if Lawrie continues to rake in AAA (I assume he starts there), then if AA can find a trade partner for Rivera then Brett could get the call. This might also delay his service start time enough to get the Jays another year.

    The same scenario could work for Marcus Thames really.

  5. Andrew… trading rivera doesn’t necessarily start the Lawrie Era, he could slide pods in to the starting lineup (if healthy) and bat him 9th..

  6. You mean Eric Thames, I guess. Why not just send Francisco (and maybe something else) back for Davis? Jon Daniels regularly does things that don’t make much sense.

  7. I have an idea. Let’s get rid of one of our many right handed closing options (say, Frank Francisco), and trade him for someone who can play a couple of different positions to give our infield some much needed depth. Mike Napoli would work, for instance.

    Seriously, that trade bothered me more than the Bautista extension. Ugh.

  8. Other Scott. Napoli could only play first on this team. Or DH. He’s a shitty catcher.

  9. I’ve got no problems with that trade; it’s the Dotel signing that makes no sense to me.

  10. I think the Dotel signing was exactly for this reason. I imagine that once you decide the number of average to above-average right-handed relievers you want, collect two more than that, because at least one will get injured and one will underperform. It’s just bad luck/optics that one of those two was a free agent signing, so it looks like it was useless. I’ve got a feeling AA was just playing the odds of a certain number of folks panning out on this one.

  11. The Dotel signing wasn’t bad because it came first. That was before you knew you were going to have that Napoli-Wells-Francisco stuff happen and before you knew you were going to sign Jon Rauch. At that point, the Blue Jays really needed bullpen help. And besides, Dotel is really, really good against righties. A lot of analysis makes it sound like he’s serviceable against righties and brutal against lefties, but that is underselling him.

    Right now, the problem is if one of Lind, Encarnacion, Lind, or Bautista get injured, you have no serviceable option at one of 3rd base, 1st base or DH (unless you think Corey Patterson makes a great DH). With Napoli here, that problem is gone. You have second options at every infield position. Same if Chris Davis comes.

  12. @The Other Scott: The numbers don’t bear out what you’re saying about Dotel. Over the last three years lefties have hit .272/.393/.531/.924 off him. That is horrible. He’s turned every lefty batter into 2010 Matt Holliday or 2010 Jayson Werth (who do not bat lefthanded, but were the closest I could find OBP/SLG/OPS-wise). That’s not good news if Farrell intends to use him against any LHB this year. The guy, for all intents and purposes, is an overpaid ROOGY. However, because they signed him as a free agent, I believe they’re stuck with him for half a year or so. I don’t remember the specifics of it, but there is a rule that protects free agents against sign and (immediate) trade transactions, however I think it’s only half a year, in order to ensure that the team is protected as well.

  13. Yeah, I meant Eric Thames.

    Posting at work again…. need to focus!

    I don’t want Pods in the lineup personally.

    I think rebuilding Rivera’s trade value is a good goal to start with. Either way let Lawrie start in AAA

  14. River’a trade value will take *a lo*t of rehab given his part in the Wells trade. Our GM seems to have two sides — the first side does his homework, keeps everything quiet, knows a good thing when he sees it, then jumps on it. But he also has this actuarial assets-building side that’s less bold and can gum up the works a little (as in five late-inning right-handed relievers). I don’t get the build-up of one-dimensional extra outfielders (Pods, Patterson) competing for at-bats they should not get, and I don’t really understand the quick dump of Napoli when Rivera’s still here.

    IMO he should have eaten Rivera’s salary right off and released him when the whole thing was about unloading Wells’ contract. If Rivera turns out to be a useful player somewhere else, good for him. I’d rather see someone from the system get a chance in that role (Loewen, Thames) than a guy who clearly doesn’t fit.

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