- The J.P. Arencibia experiment is over. On Wednesday he refused his outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock and opted instead for free agency. Heading into 2014 Texas signed Arencibia for $3 million as a reclamation project of sorts, and he basically proved to be exactly what most people thought he would be. In 222 plate appearances he hit 10 HRs and drove in 35 runs, but his strikeout (27.9%) and walk rates (4.5%) didn't come close to being able to support his .177/.239/.360 (64 wRC+) triple slash line, and he finished the season sub-replacement-level (-1.2 fWAR).
Kevin Kouzmanoff, like J.P., also elected to take free agency. In his first big league action since 2011, Kouz's season ended before it really got started. But while he was here, he did damage. He only got in the box 51 times, but in that time he produced a robust .362/.412/.617 (185 wRC+) line, and was actually a huge reason why the Rangers jumped out of the gates 15-9. After Texas gets its 40-man roster situation made up, it would be pretty cool to see them sign Kouzmanoff to a minor league deal. We shall see.
- Calvin Watkins wrote an article, um, that incorporated WAR? Yikes.
With such gems as Is this the start of a decline? for Prince Fielder, His .340 OBP needed to be higher for a leadoff hitter for Shin-Soo Choo, 54 RBIs was pretty low for him and his 93 strikeouts were too high for a hitter with gap power for Alex Rios and He might play better with a different leadoff hitter for Elvis Andrus, this article, as you can imagine, was a wreck from the start.
I can't decide what's wider: The gap between Watkins's knowledge of the NFL compared to MLB, or the space between his knowledge of MLB and his conception of Wins Above Replacement. If you've read anything he has written about the Rangers, you have pretty good mind to just choose a different site as your source. On the one hand, I'd like to give him credit for at least trying, but he gives no real insight into anything WAR-related. Bland statements like this was a solid season for the cleanup hitter don't come close to explaining how Adrian Beltre was one of the best players in MLB in 2014, and it was like that with every Ranger. His disdain for baseball is dripping in every article he writes, which makes me wonder why ESPN doesn't just find a young, eager replacement so Calvin can get back to writing about the Cowboys full-time.