By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Suddenly, at last week's trading deadline, Daniels morphed from a builder into a tinkerer. With bargaining chips aplenty and his team teased with mortgaging some future for a chance at some present, the GM found himself on the other end of the phone—antsy to deal prospects for potential missing pieces.
The good news: Daniels and the Rangers stood pat.
Texas tried to acquire ace pitcher Roy Halladay from the Toronto Blue Jays, but balked when asked to part with promising lefty Derek Holland. The Rangers also pondered deals to get Cliff Lee and Jarrod Washburn but, in the final analysis, "stick with it" trumped "go for it."
"We went after some of those obvious upgrades," Daniels said after last Friday's inactivity, "but when those didn't materialize we didn't think it made a whole lot of sense to shuffle the deck."
For the first time in a long time for the Rangers, doing not a thing was the right thing. Sure, Halladay would've given them a better chance to win right here, right now. Keeping its prospects—think Justin Smoak, Julio Borbon, Feliz and Holland—may delay the opening of the winning window, but it will, more importantly, keep it ajar longer into the next decade.
It's taken Daniels two years to get the Rangers' future out of debt. Kudos that he didn't get sucked into a cash-for-clunkers scam.
"Absolutely our plan is working," Daniels says. "In the next couple years it will only get better. I'm looking at the really big picture, as in the next decade really should be the best this franchise has experienced."
Jon Daniels has taken his beating.
Now it's time for him to take a bow.