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Alex Anthopoulos on the Frank Francisco Trade

Alex Anthopoulos did a phone call press conference on the Napoli/Frank Francisco trade. Some of the highlights:

  • Alex said the team has liked Francisco for a long time and pursued him for a long time. They looked at him when he was a free agent, but when the Rangers offered arbitration, they decided they didn't want to give up their first round pick.
  • They had tried multiple different offers to the Rangers, over the last while. Having Napoli is what got the deal done.
  • They liked Francisco, in part, because he is good against LHB. Right now Purcey is the only lefty sure to make the pen. Carson is likely to make it as well. And Jo Jo Reyes has a chance because he has no options left. 
  • Asked if they picked up Napoli figuring on flipping him. Alex said no, but they knew that several other teams were interested. They knew that the Rangers were interested. 
  • Asked about Jason Frasor, if Frasor would now be likely to be moved, he said the trade has no impact on Frasor. There was no suggestion that he is looking to trade Jason.
  • He likes the idea of having a lot of depth in the pen, likes being 7 deep in good pitchers. 
  • Doesn't want to tax the young starting pitchers or over work two or three arms in the pen.
  • Asked if the Angels GM will be pissed that Napoli was traded back to the AL West. He said the Angels GM knew that it was a possibility. Alex got several calls about Napoli since the trade. The Rangers were the most aggressive. 
  • Asked about the bench, Alex said that he is always looking to improve the bench, but the bench can be improved at the last minute, before the start of the season, like when they picked up Lewis last year. He mentioned Johnny Mac and Jose Molina as the guys sure to make the bench. Guess that makes JP the starting catcher. He also said that it is they could end up with a 13 man pitching staff, leaving room for only 3 bench player. He doesn't think that is likely but will be a decision John Farrell and he will make. 
  • He mentioned again that Reyes and Purcey are out of options, which could effect the makeup of the pen, but he said that injuries could happen, so having extra arms is a good thing.
  • Asked how they were going to spend the money saved from the Wells trade, AA said that there is no plan, that he doesn't have to spend it. He said, as always, spending money depends on the opportunities. If they have a player they want to spend the money on, they will, but the Wells trade don't effect that. He said that Paul Beeston's office is right beside his and if he needs approval to spend, he doesn't have to go far. 
  • He said that Francisco being a Type-A free agent was part of the trade negotiations.
  • That relievers are the hardest to predict how they will perform so having a deep pen is always a goal.
  • He agreed that trading Napoli was a vote of confidence for J.P. Arencibia and Adam Lind. That it will be good for JP to get experience and work through things this year, to make him better for 2012 and 2013. And that they are optimistic about Lind's ability to play first and that he has made great strides at learning the position. Also with Lind signed for a few years, if he can play first, it would give the team a lot more flexiblity in putting together future rosters.
  • Asked about Francisco, AA said that he has great stuff, with a plus fastball and plus slider. At 31, he figures Francisco has lots of upside and noted that he had great success in a tough park in Texas. 
  • Asked about the 'chair incident' Alex said that the team does a lot of work checking into the background of any player they are interested in and that everyone told them that Francisco is a great guy and great teammate and that the chair thing was several years ago. 
  • Francisco submitted a figure of $4.8 million to the arbitrator, while the Rangers number was $3.5 million. Alex said they will try to work out a deal with him before it gets to the arbitrator. 
  • Alex also answered a couple of questions in French about Russell Martin and if the team will be interested in him next year, if he is a free agent again, but I have no idea what the answer was.