A little taste of success, when combined with an expanding budget, can make for an interesting off-season. The Texas Rangers experienced that in the off-season, first bidding nine figures for Cliff Lee, and then signing Adrian Beltre to a five-year, $80 million contract. Yet it’s one lesser move, and a non-move, that have really spurred the Rangers lately.
After the Rangers signed Beltre and essentially removed Michael Young from third base, the third position he’s played for them, he predictably requested a trade. Rumors of a Rockies trade abounded, but never came to fruition. Eventually both parties agreed to drop it, instead using Young at DH and wherever needed in the infield.
About 20 days after the Beltre signing, the Rangers swung a trade, swapping reliever Frank Francisco for Mike Napoli. The Blue Jays had recently acquired Napoli from the Angels, but decided that they’d rather have Francisco in their bullpen than Napoli as their DH and sometimes catcher. The Rangers, who were likely dismayed to have Francisco accept their arbitration offer, were glad to add Napoli’s bat, even if it would be tough to find him playing time.
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