Trade Deadline Dilemma
We are now within a week of Major League Baseball’s trade deadline and fans of the game are still waiting to see which contender will make a move to acquire the allusive “missing piece” that may bring home a World Championship. With the addition of the second Wild Card spot for each league, the trade market has slowed down as fringe teams cling to the hope of making the playoffs. The Texas Rangers are one of those clubs that are caught between being a “buyer” or “seller” as the July 31st deadline approaches.
Entering play on Sunday, the Rangers are 47-49 and 6.5 games back in the division and 4.5 games back of the last wild card spot. According to Baseball Prospectus the club has just a 2.4% chance of winning the division and just a 10% chance of making the playoffs altogether. With a stacked minor league system and several quality major leaguers, it remains to be seen which direction Jon Daniels and company are prepared to take the club. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, the Rangers are seen as the favorite to land Phillies LHP Cole Hamels after months of rumored discussions between the teams.
Industry sentiment has Rangers as favorites for Cole Hamels. Long-term motivation, prospects to swing a deal and Hamels can’t block trade.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 26, 2015
ESPN’s Buster Olney also weighed in stating:
Rangers continue to be involved in Cole Hamels conversation; they envision a time when they can team him with Yu Darvish.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 26, 2015
If the Rangers were to swing a deal to land Hamels, they would have to depart with a good crop of their top prospects which could include Jorge Alfaro, Joey Gallo and/or Nomar Mazara but this is only speculation.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, they have picked a bad year to try and move a quality starting pitcher in Yovani Gallardo. In other years, Gallardo may have possibly yielded a top prospect via a trade however with the flooding of the market of available arms, coupled with the fact that Gallardo is a free agent at the end of the year, the team shouldn’t expect a huge return for the right-hander. The Astros realistically set the market earlier in the week by acquiring Scott Kazmir for two second tier prospects.
If the Rangers decided to not move Gallardo, the team does have other pieces that they could look at dealing away. With what many consider a weak hitters market, Mitch Moreland could be a player that draws attention as a left-handed middle of the order bat who is under team control through 2016. Dumping Moreland would alleviate congestion at first base and would provide Gallo a spot in the field when he is deemed major league ready. Also, if the Rangers were interested in listening, one would assume Adrian Beltre would draw significant interest from around the league.
Whichever way the Rangers may be leaning this trade deadline, it should make for an interesting next few days to see how it all plays out. What would you like to see the club do? Make a move to acquire Hamels and sacrifice prospects or try to sell off serviceable major league talent in an effort to rebuild for the next generation of Texas Rangers baseball?