Thursday, March 24, 2005

Braves claim Bourgeois 

As expected, Jason Bourgeois didn't make it through waivers, being claimed by the Atlanta Braves.

I figured someone would grab him. He's not a great prospect, but he's still young and had a terrific season in 2003, making it rather inexplicable that the likes of Travis Hughes, Agustin Montero, and Ryan Bukvich were kept on the 40 man roster instead of him.

I know that the stock response from Ranger management would be that the H/M/B trio are more likely to contribute this season than Bourgeois, but that isn't really the point. If we need any of those three this season, we're going to be in trouble anyway. Those types of players can be found on the waiver wire at any point in time. There's no reason to have them around so they can throw a half-dozen innings out of the bullpen in a pinch, if it means losing someone like Bourgeois.

And that seems symptomatic of the management mindset right now...Kozlowski was supposedly dropped because he wasn't going to pitch in the majors in 2005. Danks and Diamond are being rushed because management wants them in Arlington quickly. The focus is on finding guys who can help now, rather than nurturing the farm to develop players who are going to help a couple of years down the road.

It wouldn't be such a big deal, if we had a $90 million budget and were geared to win now. But this is a .500 team right now, one that isn't likely to compete until 2006 or 2007, and even then, is going to need contributions from the farm system to succeed. A team can afford to trade or lose its minor leaguers if, like the BoSox and Yankees, it is spending lots of money on the major league team to keep it a playoff contender. But for a team with a small-market payroll, like the Rangers, to foolishly give away prospects so that they can protect the Agustin Monteros and Travis Hugheses, as a misguided insurance policy for the bullpen, indicates a lack of long-term planning by the front office.

One of the best things that will happen to this team will be the departure of Hart. The problem is that it takes time to draft quality prospects and then let them mature into major league players. Look at the current team; Blalock, Teixeira, Cordero, and Young were all brought onboard by Melvin (I am sure I am forgetting others). This team will languish in mediocracy until management changes.
Hart has not impressed me with his farm system managemnt. Thats why I was so disappointed when Hicks let Buck talk him into getting rid of Fuson.
This is much ado about nothing....Bourgeois doesn't belong on a 40 man roster anymore....maybe he never did. He's a 23 year old guy with 5 years pro experience who hasn't advanced beyond AA and would have been going back to Frisco for the 3rd time. As they say, a guy isn't a real prospect until he successfully survives the jump to AA and produces at that level. In 732 AB's in AA, he's hit .254/.312/.342.......a .654 OPS in AA is not exactly the kind of stat to get excited about.....or paste up as the poster boy for poor roster management. You can howl all you want about who else is on the 40....but Bourgeois looks suspiciously like Donnie Sadler to me.
I have to disagree with you on this one Meno. Bourgeois was a fringe prospect at best. His loss is no big deal. Given the sad state of the bullpen's health these days, it does make sense to keep some arms on the roster that would probably otherwise be discarded. At the very least, if need arises, these guys can be inning eaters in blowouts so the regular bullpen guys can rest.

I still enjoy your blog very much, although I wish you'd cheer up a little about the state of the Rangers. :)
Ed, I don't disagree with you on Bourgeois...he's not a top prospect, and his season last year was definitely disappointing.

But he's young, has shown good plate discipline, and is a pretty good defensive second baseman. He's got a decent chance to turn it around, and I'd rather have seen him get the chance to do that in Frisco this year, at least for a couple of months, when there are other, better options to drop from the 40 man roster.
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