The Texas Rangers were expected to be buyers at the deadline, but most of us were thinking more along the lines of a front-end starter rather than someone who would be catching him.
Shortly after midnight on July 30, ESPN reported that the Rangers had acquired former Rookie of the Year catcher Geovany Soto and some cash from the Chicago Cubs for minor league pitcher Jake Brigham.
Earlier this morning, Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLBTradeRumors.com wrote that the deal was official and that the Cubs would receive Brigham and either cash or a player to be named later.
The Chicago Cubs confirmed Nicholson-Smith's report when they posted this tweet on the Cubs' official Twitter page:
To make room for Soto, Texas designated fellow catcher Yorvit Torrealba for assignment and now have a backup plan for their all-star catcher Mike Napoli, who is set to become a free agent after the 2012 season.
Napoli—who some, including me, believe didn't deserve to start the All-Star game—is hitting just .228 with 17 HR and 38 RBI, which is a far cry from 2011 when he finished at .320 with 30 HR and 75 RBI.
Soto will now serve as a backup for Napoli and could become the starter next season should Napoli decide to test the waters of free agency.
With that being said, I'm still not sure how I feel about this trade. While Soto clearly has the talent to be a good catcher (going off of his 2008 ROY campaign), he's hitting a mere .199 this season and isn't the most durable guy behind the plate.
Since becoming a starter in 2008, Soto has only played in more than 140 games once (2008) and has since played in 102, 105, 125 and only 52 games this season.
For a team that has made it to the World Series in back-to-back seasons only to falter, I sure hope they plan on making some bigger moves than this.
Was this a good move for the Texas Rangers?
Don't get me wrong; I like the addition of Soto if he can stay healthy. I think he can thrive in the Rangers' lineup as long as he's able to stay on the field.
On the bright side, if Napoli does choose to hit the free-agent market, Texas won't have to open their wallet and hand Napoli an inflated contract, instead leaving that money to put toward the pitching rotation.
But it all hinders on whether Geovany Soto can fight the injury bug and stay in the lineup.
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