When news broke Tuesday afternoon that Ranger’s outfielder Craig Gentry was traded to division rival, Oakland, Rangers fans were up in arms. Over recent seasons, Gentry has endured himself to many, his lightning quickness, brilliant defensive play, and mostly…his dashing good looks. The former Ranger, and overall handsome SOB, batted .280 with 2 HRs in a little over 100 games last season.
As I first said when reporting the trade, these numbers are nothing spectacular, but certainly nothing to scoff at either. The first thing I thought of after first hearing news of the trade, was that this opened the door for an increased role for Leonys Martin and maybe even a free agent deal for Shin-Soo Choo. Both are excellent options at leadoff and both offer plenty defensively in the outfield
Gentry was someone many of us (including myself) were specifically cheering for last season. I can honestly say I wanted him to claim the CF spot and preferred him to fellow outfielder, Leonys Martin. Both Gentry and Martin ended up proving something last season as they both developed nicely with the increased playing time.
It came down to power and potential in the end. The Rangers clearly like Martin’s potential more than Gentry and similarly like the power potential in newly acquired Michael Choice.
A move like this is not without risk. The Rangers chose to trade a sure thing (relatively speaking) in Craig Gentry, for a unproven player with upside in Michael Choice. Realistically, expect Gentry to have the better year in 2014 and possibly even 2015. Choice will make his impact down the road.
It’s also worth keeping in mind, a move like this cannot be judged individually. The entire offseason must be considered before truly rating this move. Expect the Rangers to continue to be active this offseason. I mentioned earlier in this column and earlier this offseason, I expect Shin-Soo Choo to be at the top of the Rangers wish list. If the Rangers can successfully add him this move is a fantastic one. So everyone relax. It was only Gentry and it wasn’t done in a vacuum. Let’s see what else Jon Daniels has up his sleeve before we react too harshly.