JABO: What the Rangers Got In Sam Dyson

Thursday in Toronto, you might’ve noticed that it was Sam Dyson, not Shawn Tolleson, called on to close out the Blue Jays. Or maybe you didn’t notice — neither is exactly a household name — but understanding the usual dynamics of the Rangers bullpen is understanding a key team component that allowed them to charge to the playoffs. For the first few months, that bullpen was a liability. Then it quietly improved, turning into the strength the Rangers have today.

Dyson very quickly made himself the eighth-inning guy, serving as a bridge to Tolleson in the ninth. Thursday, it wasn’t that Tolleson didn’t have Jeff Banister’s trust; he just preferred Dyson’s sinker against the bats the Blue Jays were going to send up. That much doesn’t not make sense. Dyson arrived in a deadline trade that received minimal attention, but he was thrust into a role of importance that he hasn’t given up. In thinking about what the Rangers did, it’s worth reading a wonderful article about the Nationals by Barry Svrluga.

The Nationals dealt for Jonathan Papelbon, and some people suggest that deal even undid the season. Before pulling the trigger on that move, though, general manager Mike Rizzo inquired on both Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman. Writes Svrluga:

The Nationals wouldn’t trade pitcher Lucas Giolito, one of the top pitching prospects in the game. They wouldn’t trade shortstop Trea Turner, who they thought might be the replacement for incumbent Ian Desmond someday. The Reds and Padres each wanted two of the Nationals’ top five prospects. Rizzo moved on.

Any team would’ve heard the same story — if you want a shutdown reliever at the deadline, it’s going to cost you. Neither Kimbrel nor Chapman got moved, because they were deemed too expensive. Rizzo went the Papelbon route. He was OK with that at the time. Meanwhile, Jon Daniels went another route. With Cole Hamels, he got the Phillies to include Jake Diekman. And he picked up Dyson from the Marlins, giving up a minor-league reliever and a third-string backstop. Few would raise eyebrows in response, but it looks like a stroke of genius today.

Read the rest at Just A Bit Outside.

Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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Jim S.
Jim S.

And the Marlins are idiots.