If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably already seen enough articles comparing Jesus Montero to Justin Smoak.. Two articles on Fangraphs yesterday seem to pretty much sum up the prevailing mood. But there’s one aspect to this that I haven’t really seen covered: the Texas Rangers are in the AL West. What I really mean by that is the Mariners just raided the cupboard of a divisional foe.
That could prove valuable in time. Prior to the season, the Rangers were widely considered to have the top farm system in baseball. You’d be hard pressed to find a legitimate analyst that rated them below #3 overall. And the Rangers already had a solid grip on the division. Cool Standings gives them a 77.5% chance to win it. With all the goodies Texas has stashed in the minors, they’re going to be a tough team to beat over the next 3 or more years. By trading for Smoak and a couple decent prospects, the Mariners effectively sapped some of that future value from the Rangers in return for a commodity that won’t be helping them down the line. That is unless they pay free agent dollars for him, which is an article for another day.
My point is simple. While it’s worthwhile to compare the offered deals in a vacuum, let’s also remember that there is value to the Mariners in making the 2011-17 Rangers a little bit worse.