Rangers GM Jon Daniels joined the Ben and Skin show on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] recently to talk about the Rangers’ recent trade for Nick Solak. Here are some of the highlights:
What the trade means for Nick Solak means for Rougned Odor
Daniels: “For us, with Nick, he’s going to play 90 percent of the time in Nashville at second base. He played outfield in college the first two years and he went to second base his junior year. He’s actually a natural outfielder that has been working to convert to the infield. He’s working hard and he’s getting better there. He’s close to average now but it hasn’t been a real easy transition like some guys make. So we’re really going to work him there at second base and see what he can do, and see where it goes from there. Obviously, we have a second baseman in Rougie but competition is a good thing.
“(He has a) right-hand bat that can do different things. Both second base and the outfield are hard to come by. We like how he has a chance to balance our lineup going forward.”
On if the trade was about sending a message to Rougned Odor
Daniels: “It’s not about messages. We’ve spoken to Rougie and we told him early on that there are some areas where he can look to make some adjustments. To his credit, he’s been working there and has played better. But we told him this is not going to be a situation where if he’s struggling we’re not going to look to send him down. I think he’s passed that point in his career, but he’s gotta be able to get on track here. But if there are other options that are helping the team better, it would be playing time that could come into focus.
“So, I think he understands that. That’s not what he wants to hear. He wants to play every day, but that’s the nature of the beast. At some point, if someone is a better option and Rougie isn’t turning the corner like it looks like he has been these last few weeks, then we’ll look that direction and consider that.”
On what the Rangers are looking for with the trade deadline approaching
Daniels: “We’re looking for value and we’re looking to kind of move the entire thing forward. We’re probably not looking to trade big-league guys for guys in rookie-ball. We’re probably not looking to do that. And we’re probably not looking to trade our best young prospects for rentals, but I think just about anything in between is a consideration. We’ll factor out, obviously, how the team’s playing in addition to where we are in the standings will play big roles. But so will the value of the deals that are possibly out there. The conversations we’re having with clubs right now are all over the board and I don’t think we’re the only team in that category.”
On what’s been going on with Mike Minor over the last couple weeks
Daniels: “Just a series of unconnected events that have led to a bit of a choppy schedule for him. Starters, in particular, are creatures of habit and routine. Mike is so diligent as far as a worker and kind of what he does to prepare himself. He’s probably our hardest worker, certainly in the discussion. Maybe up there with a lot of the position players the way he keeps himself in shape and gets after it.
“I just think, obviously, the situation with the Angels game was tragic and this is a byproduct and nobody’s complaining about it, of course. But it does throw him off a little bit and even the game he pitched was surreal that night and not kind of in a traditional environment. We had been talking to him before that about maybe deciding to skip start and kind of decided to do it at that point. The All-Star break and then coming back… My expectation is he’ll get back to where he was.”