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September 02, 2005

The 1999 Rangers: Where Are They Now?

In 1999, the Rangers set a franchise record with 95 wins and won their third division title in four years. Eighteen position players and twenty pitchers took the field for Texas that season. Half of them still play baseball, but not necessarily in the Majors. A look at where everyone ended up:

Retired or no action after 1999:

Jon Shave (IF) – Failed to make the club in 2000, no record of him playing anywhere after 1999.
Mike Simms (OF) – Injured most of season, no record of play after 1999.

Retired or no action after 2000:

Mark Clark (SP) – Expensive and profound free-agent flop, cut with extreme prejudice in 2000. Ripped management, claimed several teams had interest in him. Only 32 but never pitched again, anywhere.
Scarborough Green (OF) – Spent 2000 with Texas, then disappeared.
Eric Gunderson (RP) – Pitched for Toronto and in minors for San Francisco in 2000.
Roberto Kelly (OF) – Played one more year for the Yankees.
Mike Munoz (RP) – Pitched briefly with Texas in 2000, signed again after season but did not pitch.
John Wetteland (RP) – Pitched one more year for Texas then retired at age 34 with back troubles.

Retired after 2001:

Nobody!

Retired or no action after 2002:

Luis Alicea (IF) – Replaced Mark McLemore in 2000 at 2B, then spent two years in Kansas City.
Mike Morgan (SP) – Pitched for Arizona 2000-2002, got a ring in 2001.

Retired or no action after 2003:

John Burkett (SP) – Pitched for Atlanta 2000-2001 and Boston 2002-2003. Last action was in 2003 ALCS against the Yankees.
Jonathan Johnson (P) – Texas finally gave up on him during 2001. Briefly appeared for Arizona in 2002 and Houston in 2003.
Lee Stevens (1B) – Spent 2000-2001 with Montreal, 2002 with Montreal and Cleveland, and a portion of 2003 with Milwaukee’s AAA club.

Retired or no action after 2004:

Kelly Dransfeldt (SS) – Had cups of coffee with Texas in 2000-2001, spent all of 2002 in AAA. Played for Boston and Cincinnati’s AAA squads in 2003, hit .333 (with no extra-base hits or walks) in fifteen games with the White Sox in 2004.
Tom Goodwin (OF) – Let go after 1999. Played for Colorado, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Cubs.
Rusty Greer (OF) – Under contract to Texas during 2000-2004, played a total of 218 games because of countless injuries. A terrific player when healthy.
Mark McLemore (2B) – Seattle super-utility man during 2000-2003, then finished with Oakland in 2004. Part of Seattle’s 116-win effort in 2001. Unfortunately, continued his trend of very poor postseason hitting.
Scott Sheldon (IF) – Spent two more years as a utility man for Texas, then played two years in Japan. Spent 2004 in Pittsburgh and Milwaukee minor leagues.
Todd Zeile (3B) – Switched to the Mets after memorably reneging on an oral agreement with Texas. Also played for the Yankees, Rockies and Expos. Played in the World Series for the Mets in 2000.

Active, in Majors:

Royce Clayton (SS) – Arizona’s regular shortstop. Played one more year for Texas, then hopped to the White Sox, Milwaukee, Colorado and Arizona.
Doug Davis (SP) – Successful starting pitcher with Milwaukee. Average pitcher with Texas in 2001 as a 25-year-old, then banished to AAA in 2002 after a mediocre start of the season, then waived after making his first start in 2003. Struggled with Toronto but found his groove with the Brewers and former Ranger GM Doug Melvin. Still a source of controversy in pitching-poor Texas.
Jeff Fassero (RP) – Reliever with San Francisco. Ineffective late-season acquisition for Texas in 1999, has pitched for six different teams in the following six years.
Juan Gonzalez (OF) – “Active? in the loosest sense of the term. Traded to Detroit after 1999, spent one sulky season in hitter-unfriendly Comerica Park and turned down a seven-year, $140 million contract. Rebounded in Cleveland, then spent two lackluster and injury-filled seasons back in Texas plus another in Kansas City. Signed with Cleveland in 2005, missed first half of season with hamstring pull, reinjured it in first and only at-bat of the season. Future in doubt. Presently courting wife number four(?) in Puerto Rico.
Rick Helling (P) – Reliever with Milwaukee. Famously non-tendered by Texas after 2001, pitched with Arizona, Florida and Baltimore in 2002-2003. Signed by Minnesota in 2004 but suffered a broken leg, later pitched briefly with Texas AAA club. Retired after 2004, then returned.
Danny Kolb (RP) – Reliever with Atlanta. Intermittently effective with Texas, cut before 2003 then had two strong seasons in Milwaukee. Traded to Atlanta for Jose Capellan.
Esteban Loaiza (SP) – Starter with Washington. Traded by Texas for Michael Young during 2000, had a breakout season in 2003 with the White Sox followed by a poor 2004 that included an 8.50 ERA with the Yankees during a pennant drive. Pitching well again.
Rafael Palmeiro (1B) – Currently on Baltimore’s bench and a national pariah after angrily denying steroid use to Congress, then testing positive for them. Had four more excellent seasons for Texas, then, as in 1993, acrimoniously left Texas and signed with Baltimore. Power declined precipitously during 2004-2005.
Ivan Rodriguez (C) – Detroit’s regular catcher. Became a free agent after 2002. Played for the World Series-winning Marlins in 2003.
Gregg Zaun (C) – Toronto’s regular catcher. Spent three years in Kansas City after 1999, then two in Houston. Became a regular for the first time at the age of 33.

Active elsewhere:

Tim Crabtree (RP) – With Texas in AA. Named closer for 2001 season, lost job within a couple of weeks, allowed more than two baserunners per inning during season. Retired in 2003 after two unsuccessful efforts in the minors. Unretired in 2005.
Ryan Glynn (SP) – With Oakland’s AAA club, has pitched with the A’s this year. Cut loose by Texas after 2001, has since played for Milwaukee, Florida, Atlanta, Toronto and Oakland.
Corey Lee (SP) – Apparently in Japan. Traded to Chicago for Herbert Perry after 2001. Spent 2002-2005 in minor leagues with White Sox, Yankees and Angels. Pitched well for AAA Salt Lake but ask for his release to hop overseas. Still has just one Major League appearance.
Ruben Mateo (OF) – In Korea. Traded to Cincinnati (with Edwin Encarnacion) for Rob Bell during 2001, accomplished little with them, Kansas City and Pittsburgh. Flew to Korea in 2005. Still only 27.
Danny Patterson (RP) – Traded to Detroit with Juan Gonzalez after 1999, pitched well when healthy. Released after 2004, currently pitching for the Padres’ rookie-level squad.
Matt Perisho (RP) – With Boston in AAA. Traded to Detroit after 2000, released in 2002, signed and released by Arizona, Tampa Bay and Colorado during 2002-2003, pitched for Florida during 2004-2005. Released by Florida during this summer.
Aaron Sele (SP) – Probably done. Pitched with Seattle during 2000-2001 and Anaheim the last three years until being cut. Texas signed him to a minor-league deal but he pitched poorly and requested his release.
Mike Venafro (RP) – With Los Angeles in AAA. Part of the Carlos Pena trade in 2002, played one season in Oakland, one in Tampa Bay and one in LA. Has spent entire 2005 season in minors.
Jeff Zimmerman (RP) – Still with Texas but hasn’t pitched since 2001 except for a couple of minor-league appearances. Signed a three-year extension with Texas after 2001 and has fought an arm injury ever since.

Posted by Lucas at September 2, 2005 09:58 AM