Thursday, July 19, 2007

Let Bygones be bygones.

One of the best leadoff men in recent history: Make me an offer.

Top 5 all time home run hitter: You'll take him? You really will?

Heroes of days long ago being shipped to facilitate rebuilding: Priceless.

And smart.

Sammy Sosa and Kenny Lofton have many things in common. They were both offensive stalwarts during significant portions of the 90s, both obviously advanced in their career.
Both have played far better than par for their personal courses for the Rangers this year. But only a delusional fool would think of their continued presence as part of the long-term solution.
It's been great having Sammy around, just for old time's sake. It was fun watching him hit number six hundred against the club everyone associates him with. But the man's got an on-base percentage under .300. He's hitting a miserable .213 against right handers. He can't even pretend to play defense. Dismiss the RBI numbers and he's one of the most undesirable everyday starters I've seen in some time.

The fondness I feel for Lofton is more comparable to the one I reserve for the Great Gagne. Why? He's produced. Lofton's given the Rangers a true threat on the bases, something they hadn't been able to boast of since the days of Goodwin. It also helps that he's been absolutely lights-out since his first month or two here, rebounding from early struggles that had him hitting at the Mendoza line to raise his average all the way up to .309. He's made his share of impressive grabs in center field, and done his share as far as working pitchers and taking walks. In other words: He's been the absolute epitome of a leadoff man.
Doh! He's 40!

I don't think the Rangers will get anything for Sosa. It will likely turn into a regrettable situation in which Jon Daniels needs to release his (sabremetrically) top run-producer in order to give deserving young players a shot at the top level.
Lofton's a diferent story, though. Teams have expressed interest in the career mercenary's services, and I sincerely hope that JD makes the right decision-pulls the trigger at the first sign of value coming his way. I don't think Lofton should necessarily be given away, but there's no point in holding out. He'll be worth a decent package, don't delay your rebuilding process by clinging to the sentimentality of keeping him around.

It'll be nice to get some fringe prospects in return for these two bygone stars. But priority one remains as such:
Make sure they're on another team before July 31st.

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