Cristian Guzman and the 2007 draft.

So the latest add is second baseman (and former shortstop and putative outfielder) Cristian Guzman, a veteran brought in to hold the position down while Ian Kinsler mends. His arrival will surely result in the designation for assignment of either Joaquin Arias or Andres Blanco, with the other being on the hook for the same once Kinsler returns - though if the groin strain keeps Kinsler out until September 1, the club could get away with keeping the additional infielder since rosters can expand that month.

This plainly seems like an effort to boost dependability in the club's big league depth, a move that might not have been made if Kinsler were healthy, but might have been anyway just to protect against exactly what the club is faced with now. Guzman isn't even a guarantee to make the playoff roster if Blanco, a better defender, is still around, but the reason Texas traded for the 11-year veteran (who has played in three post-seasons) is to lessen the chances that Kinsler's extended absence keeps the club from getting to October in the first place.

Owed a little more than $2.5 million the rest of the season, Guzman will reportedly be paid about $2 million of that by Washington (according to ESPN's Buster Olney), which forced Texas to give up a couple third-tier prospects in Frisco righties Ryan Tatusko and Tanner Roark.

Neither Tatusko nor Roark was a top 30 prospect here, and may or may not show up near the end of such a Nationals list this winter. I had them at 72 and 58 in the Rangers system this past off-season, respectively, though Tatusko in particular has had a breakout season that probably vaulted him past Roark and into fringe prospect status, something he wasn't prior to 2010. In his last six Frisco starts, during the time of year when AA clubs hand out more scout credentials than any, Tatusko has gone 4-1, 1.34, averaging nearly seven innings a start. He's allowed only two home runs in 100 innings this season and has generated groundouts 1.67 times as often as flyouts.

He'll have a chance with Washington. It wouldn't be surprising, if he continues to fare well over the final month-plus of the minor league season, to see Tatusko added to the Nationals' 40-man roster this winter. That wouldn't have happened here.

I've asked Tatusko, who has written the Back Fields Diaries for the Newberg Report the last two seasons, if he wants to issue one final entry. I'll let you know what he says.

For the many of you who have written me, disappointed that Texas traded him, I'd suggest you ought to be happy. He'll have a better shot at a big league career now, something that was more of a longshot here, and he did an outstanding job of putting himself on the map and turning himself into an asset that helped make yesterday's trade deadline deal possible. This is good for his career.

Roark, who went 10-0, 2.70 for Bakersfield in 2009 (primarily in relief) and had a brief look in Frisco, returned to the RoughRiders this season and kept getting better, posting a 5.06 ERA out of the bullpen in April, a 4.43 ERA in the rotation through June, and a 3.51 ERA in six July starts (again, presumably with lots of scouts on hand). He has ordinary stuff, but tends to get results with it, and like Tatusko he'll have a much better shot of getting to the big leagues with his new club.

For what it's worth, in the Nationals front office are Jay Robertson (Special Assistant to the General Manager) and Doug Harris (Director of Player Development), both of whom were with the Rangers when Tatusko was drafted in 2007 and Roark was drafted in 2008.

And that's where I want to segue off and talk about scouting and player development for a second.

Back in 2007, when Jon Daniels and Thad Levine put a long-term plan in place for this organization, rooted in replenishing the farm system through trades and international signings and the draft, to get this team where it is now, the boldest and most prominent evidence that the plan was underway was obviously the Mark Teixeira trade that July. But dial back a month earlier.

You always go into a draft planning to kill it. Always. Texas had been aggressive with high-upside picks and overslot bonuses well before the five-step plan was hatched in 2007.

The common dictum is that if you get four or five big leaguers out of a single amateur draft, you've done well.

But take a look at what has happened with the Rangers' 2007 amateur draft. And behold its productivity.

RdPlayer PosAgeFromScout Product
1Blake Beavan P18HS (TX)EddingsCliff Lee
1Michael Main P/OF18HS (FL)DeMutisBengie Molina
1Julio BorbonOF21Coll (TN)WoodRangers starter
1Neil RamirezP18HS (VA)Ardolina  
1Tommy HunterP20Coll (AL) WoodRangers starter
2Matt West3B18HS (TX) Taylor  
3Evan ReedP21Coll (CA) Guggiana Jorge Cantu
4Garrett NashSS/OF18HS (UT)Pratt  
5John GastP18HS (FL)DeMutis 2010 sixth-rounder (St. Louis)
6Bobby WilkinsP17HA (CA) Flores  
7Tim SmithOF21Coll (AZ) Pratt Daniel Gutierrez
8Jonathan GreeneC21Coll (NC) Cuthbert  
9Davis StoneburnerINF22Coll (VA) Ardolina  
10Andrew LaughterP22Coll (LA) Taylor  
11Anthony RanaudoP17HS (NJ) Matsko 2010 first-rounder (Boston, #39)
12Drew PomeranzP18HS (TN) Wood 2010 first-rounder (Cleveland, #5)
13Kyle O'CampoP18HS (CA) Flores  
14Matt Lawson2B21Coll (MO) Smith Cliff Lee
15Hector NeloP20Coll (FL) Alvarez  
16Josh LuekeP22Coll (KY) Giegler Cliff Lee
17Mitch Moreland1B/P21Coll (MS) Wood Rangers starter
18Ryan TatuskoP22Coll (IN) Lee Cristian Guzman
19Kyle MurphyOF22Coll (KS) Smith  
20Kenny Smith2B23Coll (NC) Cuthbert  
21Erik DavisP20Coll (CA) Metzger  
22Donnie EckerOF21Coll (ID) McGraw  
23Jake KaaseSS21Coll (TX) Taylor  
24Chris GradovilleC22Coll (NE) Smith  
25Andy Wilkins3B/1B18HS (OK) Eddings 2010 fifth-rounder (White Sox)
26Kevin KeyesOF18HS (TX) Taylor 2010 seventh-rounder (Washington)
27Drew GrayC21Coll (MO) Smith  
28Mike Ortiz1B18HS (FL) Alvarez  
29Ryan FalconP22Coll (NC) Cuthbert  
30Ben HenryP18HS (SC) Cuthbert  
31Anton MaxwellP22Coll (OR) McGraw  
32Gaspar SantiagoP17HS (PR) Thon  
33Jared HyattP23Coll (GA) Cuthbert  
34Chase HutchingsonP18HS (AR) Eddings  
35Jeff SchausOF18HS (FL) Alvarez  
36Brian DupraP18HS (NY) Matsko  
37Bryan SalsburyP17HS (CA) Flores  
38Hunter HillP18HS (TX) Eddings  
39Tyler FlemingP21Coll (KS) Smith  
40Sean MeehanP18HS (WA) McGraw  
41Tom Edwards1B21Coll (NJ) Matsko  
42Jason Sowers1B20Coll (KS) Smith  
43Joey RosasP20Coll (AZ) Pratt  
44Kris JiggittsP21Coll (ME) Smith  
45Ryan TurnerP22Coll (GA) Cuthbert  
46Yoandy BarrosoOF18HS (FL) Alvarez  
47Ben PetralliC21Coll (CA) Metzger  
48Dillon BairdSS19Coll (AZ) Pratt  
49Brandon HayesOF18HS (OR) McGraw  
50Paul Zarlengo1B18HS (IL) Lee  

Though Texas has been as busy as any club this month, due in large part to the development of the players it drafted in 2007, the Rangers may not be done.

The non-waiver trade deadline is a little more than three hours away. Stay tuned for TROT COFFEY's or news flashes as developments warrant.

===========================================================

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(c) Jamey Newberg

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Twitter @newbergreport

 
title_authors

Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.

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