Rangers acquire Lucas Harrell, Dario Alvarez for Travis Demeritte
With just under a week to go before the deadline, the Rangers have made their first move of the trade season. Texas acquired starting pitcher Lucas Harrell and left handed reliever Dario Alvarez in exchange for power hitting infield prospect Travis Demeritte. The Rangers designated Matt Duffy for assignment to make room for the newly acquired players.
Harrell started the season injured but has made five starts so far, posting a respectable 3.38 ERA. He’s walking 3.7 batters per nine innings, and hasn’t struck out more than 5 batters in any outing this season. Long story short, Harrell is not the long term answer to the Rangers’ pitching woes of late. He’ll slide into the fifth spot, making his first start in Texas Sunday. The next five days of the rotation will look like this:
Wednesday- Yu Darvish
Thursday- Cole Hamels
Friday- A.J. Griffin
The piece that intrigues me in this deal is Alvarez. He struggled in his first two stints in the big leagues; in 16 games this season Alvarez has posted a 3.00 ERA in 15 innings, striking out 28 and walking just 5. Alvarez’s main pitch is a slider, mixing in a fastball as well. A left handed reliever not named Jake Diekman the Rangers could rely on in the 6th inning and beyond was near the very top of my wish list for this trade season. They got that done, at a reasonable cost. They don’t need Alvarez to be Diekman, but having another left handed option they can use late is a nice acquisition.
Meanwhile the Rangers lose Demeritte, a second baseman who has played for the class High A High Desert Mavericks. In 88 games, Demeritte is hitting .272 with 25 homers and 59 RBI. With power comes whiffs as he’s struck out 125 times so far. Demeritte’s a long term project, not projected to see the majors until 2019 or maybe 2020. With the Rangers future in the middle infield sealed long term, Demeritte was a player they could afford to trade.
Harrell and Alvarez will be with the team tomorrow for the start of a four game set against the Kansas City Royals, with corresponding roster moves will be made before the game. The Rangers will certainly still look for more starting pitching help, and will check in on a couple of bats here and there. In a market that has seemed to heavily favor the selling team thus far, the Rangers got some bang for their buck with this move.