Wednesday newsletter time: These ex-Rangers in the MLB postseason would be nice to have back
(AP photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
The Rangers can’t really regret not keeping Jordan Romano, the Toronto closer, in the organization back in 2019.
He was a Rule 5 choice who had never pitched above Double A, and he didn’t have a great spring. Via rule, he would have stayed on the active roster all season, and the Rangers wouldn’t have been able to stash him.
Of all the other former Rangers in the postseason, though, there are a few who could have a place on the Rangers’ roster.
One is right-hander Yu Darvish, who is now 11 seasons deep into his MLB career after the Rangers lured from Japan. His first 5 1/2 seasons were with the Rangers, who sent him to the Dodgers at the 2017 trade deadline rather than risk him walking away as a free agent in the offseason. He started Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday for the Padres and was a tough-luck loser as the Phillies won 2-0.
Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract with the Cubs after the 2017 season. The Rangers could spend more than $22 million on a less proven pitcher this offseason. Darvish wanted to stay with the Rangers, but nothing ever materialized after he was traded.
Another who got away is Guardians righty Emmanuel Clase, who might be the best closer in the game.
The Rangers sent him to Cleveland in December 2019 in the Corey Kluber trade. Yikes. Kluber pitched one inning for the Rangers in the shortened 2020 season, when they decided to go into the rebuild mode they are trying to get out of now.
With the uncertainty at the back of the bullpen, gosh, Clase would have been been in place through 2024.
One more? Some fans have lamented the Jose Trevino trade. Actually, some have lamented the Mitch Garver trade. Trevino become expendable after the Rangers acquired Garver, who was injured when they got him and needed surgery for a torn flexor tendon in July.
Trevino is the starting catcher for the Yankees, who on Tuesday advanced to the American League Championship Series. The Rangers believed Jonah Heim had the higher ceiling, and he showed signs of that this season.
How much of a difference would that trio have made this season? Not enough to get the Rangers to the postseason. Down the road? Yeah, they’d be nice to have.
Who ya got?
The Yankees beat Cleveland in the rain-delayed Game 5 of the AL Division Series and then flew to Houston to begin the ALCS tonight.
They are the top two seeds in the AL and took turns this season as the best team in the league. The Astros finished with the best record and have home-field advantage in the best-of-7 series.
Houston would seem to have the advantage, with excellent starting pitching and some rest after sweeping Seattle in the ALDS. Houston hasn’t played since that 18-inning marathon Game 3 on Saturday.
I predicted before the season that that Yankees would beat the Dodgers in the World Series. I can’t go back on that now, even though I think the Astros are the better team. New York’s bullpen issues are, well, an issue.
But, in the words of Ron Washington, it’s not always the best team. It’s the best team that day.
The Mansfield Outlaws 10U team had its first chilly game of the fall season Tuesday night against the EA Bears, whose shortstop wears No. 58 just like his dad.
Alex Claudio’s youngest son plays shortstop and bats third, and Alex could be seen in the stands with a hoodie and wrapped in a Mets blanket. For the record, I was wearing running tights under my pants, had four layers up top, was wearing gloves and had a quilt draped over me.
Claudio, a left-handed reliever, was the Rangers Pitcher of the Year in 2017. He’s bounced around since getting traded to Milwaukee at the 2018 winter meetings for a draft choice that became Davis Wendzel (No. 41 overall). He spent almost all of this season at Triple A Syracuse, but appeared briefly for the Mets and was with them as a potential roster add for their wild-card series against the Padres.
The Puerto Rico native was part of a loaded Rangers Arizona Rookie team that included Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman, among others. That was Claudio’s third season in the AZL, but he figured things out would make his MLB debut in the disastrous 2014 season before logging innings on the division-winning clubs in 2015 and 2016.
Good guy. His kid is a good little player, too.
That second-to-last attempt was something else. Enjoy. See you Thursday.
Trial and error…finally got it . 😏😂🥴🐶 pic.twitter.com/Ehwj1zF7kb
— Fred Schultz (@FredSchultz35) October 18, 2022
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org