— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) March 23, 2014
Jon Daniels has made two trades with the current Cubs front office. The two trades for less than a full season of starts have netted the Cubs six prospects. I've talked before about the Cubs need to pull off a Teixeira trade. The irony might be that the man who pulled off the original Teixeira trade I referenced might have provided the Cubs their version of it.
I also think John Daniels is kinda done trading with the Cubs for the time being so I doubt a Samardzija to Rangers deal happens.
— Mauricio Rubio Jr. (@MRubio52) March 25, 2014
This type of thinking made sense given the very public statements about losing a trade to the Cubs. This was despite the fact that the Cubs are one of the few teams willing to trade almost anyone at any point in the year. Also despite the Cubs having very movable pieces to fill injury gaps in the still going for it now Rangers. Darwin Barney made a fair bit of sense as a stopgap for the huge hole at 2B. The Rangers have never shown much interest in Jeff Samardzija, but the one thing that the Rangers desperately need at this point is innings. Acquiring a horse like Samardzija would make a ton of sense for them. And then Geovany Soto was hurt for a couple months requiring the Rangers to sign Chris Snyder to a minor league deal for depth.
The news reported by Bruce Levine is that despite any trepidation Daniels might feel in dealing with the Cubs is not enough to prevent him from trying to acquire stopgaps from the Chicago Cubs. The cost for acquiring George Kottaras is going to be no where near the price tag for Garza or Dempster. The Cubs might be moving Kottaras cheaply for the purpose of giving John Baker a shot at the backup catcher spot, and Kottaras was acquired for just cash last off season. That said it is surprising that Daniels is willing to come back to the Chicago Cubs for a deal after perhaps a bit of embarrassment following his recent deals.
This made me wonder a bit about something that was revealed at the time of the Ryan Dempster trade. That is that both Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein will work the phones to make deals. Jed Hoyer described the process like this:
“I probably talk to a few more teams than he does. A lot of it is based on relationships- who we’ve done deals with in the past, who we’re close with…. That way, with agents and teams it makes it a lot easier.”
The Cubs never made many deals with the Daniels led Rangers prior to the Theo Epstein regime take over. The Cubs and Rangers made five trades prior to the new front office which saw the likes of Jon Leciester, John Koronka, Jerry Hairston, Andres Blanco, and Mason Tobin being traded for Freddie Bynum, Phil Nevin and cash. Since the front office has taken over the Cubs have made three trades which has netted the Cubs seven prospects for three players. So there was not much in the way of preexisting relationships within the Cubs front office and Daniels in Texas.
Jed Hoyer revealed that he probably talked to more teams than Theo Epstein did, which makes him the early favorite. But he also said it depends on the relationship that each have with the other team. Can we see any potential relationships in the deals that were made? Jon Daniels has been the GM of the Texas Rangers since October 2005. The Boston Red Sox under Theo Eptsein's tenure as GM made five trades with Jon Daniels. Those deals are as followed:
July 31, 2010: The Boston Red Sox traded a player to be named later, Roman Mendez (minors), Chris McGuiness and cash to the Texas Rangers for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Boston Red Sox sent Michael Thomas (minors) (August 14, 2010) to the Texas Rangers to complete the trade.
April 23, 2009: The Boston Red Sox purchased Kason Gabbard from the Texas Rangers.
November 28, 2008: The Boston Red Sox traded a player to be named later and cash to the Texas Rangers for Wes Littleton. The Boston Red Sox sent Beau Vaughan (minors) (December 11, 2008) to the Texas Rangers to complete the trade.
The trades between 2006 and 2009 involved both Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, but it is likely that Theo Epstein was the main person involved in negotiations with Jon Daniels. It is also interesting to note that only two trades really produced significant results for either side. The trades completed in 2006, 2008, and 2009 sent little value to either side. The 2010 trade made after Jed Hoyer left for San Deigo was the best one for Theo with the Red Sox getting Saltalamacchia for virtually nothing. The worst one was in 2007, which paired with the aforementioned Texieria trade, quickly rebuilt the Rangers farm system into one of the top in baseball. The Red Sox gave up major value for a reliever that fell apart almost instantly upon reaching Boston.
Jed Hoyer and Jon Daniels have a much shorter public track record together. The two did not make any deals while Jed Hoyer was one of the main people leading Boston while Theo Epstein stepped down temporarily. And the Rangers made just one deal with the Padres during Hoyer's tenure as GM there. That trade was the following though:
That trade saw plenty of value swapped for both sides. Adams was a highly effective reliever for the Rangers for a season and a half. The Padres received two major pitching prospects that both started games for them at the end of last year. Neither was dominant in their limited time up, but the fact is that the Padres got two young starters that reached the majors for a season and a half of a reliever. This leads me to believe that Jed Hoyer is probably the main person dealing with Jon Daniels for the Cubs, and likely should receive the bulk of the credit in making the deals with the Rangers. The case is circumstantial at best, but the evidence would seem to point ever so slightly to Hoyer over Epstein in this case.