The Brain Trust
In the days and weeks leading up to the Yu-Mania, the Texas Rangers suddenly had no money. According to many “sources” the Texas Rangers went from being absolutely loaded and full of money to suddenly being “cash strapped”.
Last year the Texas Rangers signed a T.V. deal with Fox Sports Southwest after the team was sold to Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg in August. The deal, according to the USA Today and three high-ranking MLB officials(two of whom personally saw the contract), is worth $3 Billion over a span of 20 years. That is $150 million a year for the next 20 years starting after the 2014 season.
Later, the Dallas Morning News would report that the claim made by the USA Today on the deal was “wildly inflated”. The DMN would go on to explain that the deal is closer to $1.6 Billion or $80 million per year for the next 20 years starting after the ’14 campaign. The source for the Dallas Morning News also explained that, much like a player signing bonus, the Texas Rangers would also receive a signing bonus almost immediately.
Nobody really knows exactly what it is, but either deal is an upgrade from the $20 million per year deal the Rangers had under former owner Tom Hicks. The question is: How do the Rangers go from “Loaded” to “Borderline Broke” in a matter of weeks and days? My answer: Rangers ownership, Jon Daniels and his genius plan for our Texas Rangers.
Explanation: The Texas Rangers have money and a lot of it. When you think about the record attendance and the hosted playoff and World Series games in the last two years.. all that money adds up. That isn’t counting jersey and apparel sales, concession sales, and all of the advertisement growth from exponentially improving success in a large sports market. The Rangers are rolling in money right now… yeah, you are paying Chuck Greenberg, but how can that compare to the amount of money rolling in from everything else? It can’t, It doesn’t compare.
During the Winter Meetings at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, the Rangers were sitting there with their mirrored Ray Bans and Oakley sunshades, arms crossed, just watching people scramble for pieces to milk up a better season than the year before. JD and Thad basically took C.J. Wilson’s agent out for a nice seafood dinner and never called him back (not sorry about the Anchorman reference). Texas never even technically OFFERED C.J. a deal! So either (A) the Rangers were too broke to offer C.J. the money the Angels did or (B) they didn’t believe he was worth it and wanted to explore other options.
The Rangers passed on their straight edge southpaw and set their eyes ahead for something nobody expected. As the “cash strapped Rangers” rumors swirled through the Twitter-verse, the Toronto Blue Jays and their GM Alex Anthopoulos suddenly became the far-and-away favorites to land the Japanese-Iranian, Yu Darvish. Don’t get me wrong, Texas was second to Toronto as a possible favorite to win the rights for Darvish but according to baseball writers on Twitter, they were really only expected to put in a “competitive” bid. Toronto, on the other hand, were thought to have a clear shot at Yu from the start. The Blue Jays were rumored to have put in a 50 million dollar bid… which in almost everyone’s eyes was going to win Yu Darvish’s negotiating rights easily.
Not so fast my friend… Here comes Jon Daniels with his sunglasses now neatly folded in his pocket and a smile on his face. $51.7 million for date with a Japanese superstar? No problem guys. Some said wait… I thought the Rangers were broke…!?! Those same people are saying, “well now those guys down in Arlington definitely don’t have that much money.”
Lesson #1: Don’t ever sleep on a GM with a mean poker face!
Lesson#2: Don’t mess with the Texas Rangers brain trust.
Lesson #3: Don’t crown a winner before the games are played. (Angels)
By the way my “sources” tell me… don’t sleep on the idea of the Rangers making a big trade in the next 30 days.. or.. dare I say Prince Fielder..??