Jon Daniels continued his aggressive pursuit of a Rangers postseason, swinging his fourth trade of the season and landing the Nationals' Cristian Guzman to fill in for the injured Ian Kinsler and provide depth up the middle. MLB.com's Bill Ladson broke the story of the latest Rangers deal. Texas is also expected to receive some cash to cover part of the remaining money on Guzman's contract which was for a guaranteed $8 million for 2010. Guzman has 10-5 no trade protection, so the deal will not be official until the 24-hour approval period passes.
Guzman had been exclusively a shortstop prior to this season whent he emergence of Ian Desmond pushed him over to second base. His fielding has been all over the charts, varying from adequate to good to poor, often changing from year to year. At second he has been below average based on John Dewan's plus/minus system. Texas however hopes that Guzman's bat is intact. While not super adept, Guzman owns a career batting average of .272 but it's largely empty as his slugging percentage (.385) is nothing special and his on-base percentage (.308) is rather poor. Playing in a hitter's paradise may help his batting average and slugging percentage.
In exchange the Rangers will send Double A pitching prospects Ryan Tatusko and Tanner Roark to the Nationals. Tatusko is enjoying good results in Frisco. But at age 25, he is old for the Texas League. His 9-2 record and 2.97 ERA are undergirded by shaky peripherals. He has a strikeout rate of just 5.2 K/9 IP. His walk rate is hardly impressive at 3.6 BB/9 IP. The saving grace comes int he form of just two home runs in exactly 100 innings pitched.
Roark's 10-5 record and 4.20 ERA don't look as impressive compared to Tatusko. Using the peripheral numbers, however, Roark is the superior prospect. He has better strikeout (6.4) and walk (2.8) numbers, but in his 105 innings, he's allowed six more home runs accounting in part for the larger ERA. The biggest advantage that Roark holds is his age. He's 23 and age-appropriate for AA.
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