As Adrian Gonzalez was ripping an RBI double down the right-field line on Monday night to give the Los Angeles Dodgers an early lead in a must-win Game 3 of the NLCS, you couldn't help but think what might have been.
What might have been if the Rangers had never traded Adrian Gonzalez to the San Diego Padres for a good setup man in Akinori Otsuka? It's hard to say for sure, but for a franchise that's been looking for a first baseman since they dealt Mark Teixeira for a huge return, it sure would've been nice to have a homegrown one in Gonzalez.
Gonzalez never really had another position, so he was stuck behind Teixeira in 2004 and 2005. In 2005, he got 150 at-bats and his .227 with six homers. Those definitely weren't numbers to get too excited about, but the pedigree and the potential was there, and the Padres saw it.
Of course, Gonzalez went on to be a three-time NL all-star with the Padres and a two-time Gold Glove winner at first base before he signed with Boston in 2011 and was traded to the Dodgers in 2012.
Chris Davis was another first baseman the Rangers had homegrown, but it seems we can all agree Davis was in desperate need of a change of scenery and had he remained in Texas his outburst this season likely wouldn't have happened. And Mitch Moreland, so far, has failed to earn the full-time job despite numerous opportunities handed to him by the Rangers.
What did Otsuka do for the Rangers? Well, he was good in 2006, posting 32 saves and a 2.11 ERA but for a team that finished nowhere near the playoffs. Following the 2007 season, he was never seen in a big-league game again.
So let's just cut the talk about the Chris Davis trade being an egregious error on Jon Daniels' part. It's pretty clear this deal took the cake.