The Texas Rangers parted with Justin Smoak in order to get Cliff Lee*. They obviously think they are playoff-bound. Smoak, you may recall, was drafted at the same time as Buster Posey, though Posey was chosen fifth and Smoak eleventh. Parting with your 1st-round pick is big deal--imagine who we would expect to get in return if we parted with Buster? Cliff Lee is quite a prize, and just keeping him out of the Yankees hands is good enough for me. Texas is obviously confident that they can make a real run. They have the same record as the San Diego Padres (50-35), but have a 5-1/2 game lead over the 2nd-place LAnaheimers. When you trade away a prospect like Smoak**, you are going "all in" for 2010. This is a club that's being sold.
Speaking of Buster Posey, who I hope is the "other half" of a Dynastic Duo with Tim Lincecum that will bring years of glory to the San Francisco Giants, he will face 2009 Gold Spikes Winner Stephen Strasburg tonight. Buster, of course, is the 2008 winner. Can you name the 2006 winner? (2007 is Tampa Bay Ray David Price.)
The Giants pulled out an extra-large can o'whup-ass when they saw Ubaldo Jimenez. Perhaps they can ground another high-flyer tonight.
*Deal still pending.
**The former South Carolina Gamecock has a line of .209/.316/.353 in 275 major-league PA (all in 2010).