I think most people expected this to be the last time we saw Pudge in a Rangers uniform.
That picture was from his last Rangers home game where it was expected by everyone (if not officially) that it was the end of his Rangers tenure. Well, that’s not the case. After spending time with the Florida Marlins, the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees (shudder), and the Houston Astros, the Rangers re-acquired him today in a trade with Houston for two “mid level” prospects. As I write this (1:44PM), the prospects haven’t been named yet. We’re also apparently responsible for the remainder of his $1.5 million salary for 2009. A pretty good bargain.
UPDATE: Several unconfirmed stories are now saying that it’s an A-ball pitcher named Matt Nevarez plus a PTBNL.
UPDATE 2: It’s apparently Nevarez and Jose Vallejo, although Vallejo is technically being classified as a PTBNL, due to some waiver technicalities. Furthermore, Jamey Newberg is saying that if the Rangers make the playoffs, we’ll owe the Astros a third PTBNL player.
All the stories I’ve read have said that Pudge has been told Taylor Teagarden is the #1 catcher, and Pudge is being brought in as a backup. That probably will work out fine, and when he’s added to the roster, one would expect Kevin Richardson is headed back to the minors.
While the romantic Rangers fan will love this move, I can’t expect it’s for any more than this season. Yeah, the veteran leadership issue will be well covered with this move, but in 2010, I can’t see where Pudge will fit, so we’d better win the World Series now, as I cannot imagine why Pudge would re-sign here next year, nor why we’d make him an offer. Enjoy the last couple of months Rangers fans, as this is likely it for Pudge with the Rangers.
Having said all that.. I hope he is catching on Thursday night, as I’ll be at the game. I want to see him again! :)