Rangers over pay for Lee rental

Friday July 9, 2010

I guess the Padres were not willing to rape their farm system to get Cliff Lee.

Today the Texas Rangers agreed to a deal that will send 4 of their top prospects including Uber-prospect Justin Smoak to the Seattle Mariners for Lee and middle reliever Mark Lowe and about $2.5 million to help the bankrupt Rangers pay the balance of Lee’s 2010 salary.

To beat out the New York Yankees for a 3 month rental of Cliff Lee, the Rangers have essentially given up their starting catcher of the future and 3 of the top 20 prospects in their system, all of whom were at AA this season.

They mortgaged the future on the hopes of making a deep run in the playoffs this season.

Was it a mistake?

In my eyes, yes.

Over his 7 starts in Rangers Ballpark, Lee has a miserable 7.62 ERA and a .311 BAA. Not exactly comforting numbers for the Rangers faithful. He has not exactly been lights out in Oakland Coliseum or Angels Stadium either, turning in an ERA over 4.30.

And for 3 months of Lee, or more specifically to keep the Yankees from getting 3 months of Lee’s pitching, the Rangers sent the Mariners their 2007 (Blake Beavan) and 2008 (Smoak) 1st round picks plus 2 other promising prospects in fireball throwing LHP Josh Lueke and 2B Matt Lawson.

How good is the package the Rangers sent to the Mariners?

  • Smoak will step into the Mariners roster immediately, forcing out Casey Kotchman.
  • Lueke can likely step in to replace Lowe in the Mariners bullpen immediately. He has been very good at AA Frisco this season. 
  • Beavan is just 21 years old and is considered one of the top prospects in the Rangers system and is one of the youngest pitchers in the AA Texas League.
  • Lawson is a power hitting 2B that will likely be fighting with Dustin Ackley for playing time in the Mariners infield next season, especially if Jose Lopez’s option is not picked up.

All I can say is that the Rangers better make it to the World Series or this trade could come back to haunt them for years to come.

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2 thoughts on “Rangers over pay for Lee rental

  1. A few notes:

    Justin Smoak is a first baseman not a catcher

    Lee threw a CG at the Ballpark in Arlington this season

    While Beavan has had low BB rates, his K rate is way lower than it should be for someone with his stuff. Not many see him having ace potential. I like him, but I'm just saying he isn't a super prospect.

    You also aren't taking into account that the Rangers will be getting two high draft picks when Lee leaves in a loaded 2011 draft.

    Lueke has HUGE character concerns. Was charged with rape at one time, but plea bargained for 40 days in jail.

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  2. Jeff,

    Thanks for reading the blog.

    Beavan is 21 and one of the youngest pitchers in AA. That says volumes about his talent. He has a 2.78 ERA, a WHIP of 1.018 and 5.6 SO/9. He was 2007 first round pick (#17 overall) and he is a top prospect. No doubt about that.

    One game for Lee does not change a pattern of not pitching well at Texas (and in the AL West as a whole other than Seattle).

    Lueke's legal problems in Bakersfield do not negate his pitching talent. When you strike out 14.6 per 9 IP, teams will overlook alot or at least keep a close watchful eye on you. Lefties with a 97-98 mph fastball are few and far between. Ones with decent control even more so. Doesn't excuse the behavior, but does make teams much more forgiving if its not repeated.

    The Rangers ONLY get two 1st round draft picks if-
    A) They offer Lee arbitration and
    B) If they offer arbitration and he signs elsewhere, the team that signs him is not in the top 15 draft slots.

    Like

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