Texas Rangers: Willie Calhoun’s Call-Up Signals Trade Plans
By Kenneth Nash
It only took half the season for the Texas Rangers to call up Willie Calhoun. But now that he’s here, is he going to stick around?
With Nomar Mazara hitting the DL a couple of days ago, top prospect Willie Calhoun got his chance to make his 2018 debut for the Texas Rangers. A lefty slugger, many fans were ready to see Calhoun make his mark in Arlington and were disappointed it took this long to get him here. Now the question, is Willie Calhoun here to stay?
To answer in short, yes. Calhoun was called up as a replacement for Nomar Mazara who hit the DL with a wrist sprain. While Mazara may need more than just a 10-day DL stint, it’s not like he’s going to be out for a long time. Presumably then, when he returns, Calhoun’s spot in the lineup and on the roster would go away. The exception here, is a trade. Particularly a trade for one of Texas’ outfielders. The most likely candidate is Shin-Soo Choo who carries a hefty contract, but it is one of the hottest hitters in baseball this year.
I find it highly unlikely that the Rangers would call-up Willie Calhoun for a few weeks only to send him back down again. That doesn’t seem to make sense for his development and would be a waste of MLB service time considering Texas isn’t a contender. They easily could’ve brought up another player to fill the void for a few weeks. Instead they promoted their top prospect.
Calling up Willie Calhoun signals to me, that Texas is planning on trading somebody in the near future. Shin-Soo Choo, mentioned above, makes the most sense as he’s spent most of the year as the Ranger’s Designated Hitter. DH is the role Calhoun best fits as he really doesn’t translate as an MLB caliber left fielder. The problem was, when would the DH spot open up again? Considering Choo is under contract for two more years, there wasn’t a real easy route to get Calhoun meaningful big league time. Now, because there will be a market for Choo, Texas has the opportunity to get rid of their commitment to an aging veteran who is taking up a spot for a youngster. Even though they’ll have to eat a big chunk of his contract, it’s worth the ability to get Calhoun regular playing time for the rest of the year and moving forward.
Next: Grading the Jesse Chavez Trade with Chicago
Long story short, Calhoun should be here to stay.