Texas Rangers are getting zero help from their trade candidates
By Travis Koch
An important trade season for the Texas Rangers is headed in a concerning direction. Their trade candidates are struggling at the wrong times, adding difficulty to moving any of them.
The Texas Rangers are facing perhaps the biggest challenges of any team this trade season. Texas’ potential trade centerpieces are either past their prime or just entering their prime. As such, they have to persuade suitors that the players past their prime still have enough to offer to a postseason run and that the success of the players just now entering their prime is not a fluke.
Oh, and it doesn’t help that seemingly every Rangers’ trade candidate has been playing poorly in the games leading up to the July 31st trade deadline. Specifically, Cole Hamels, Shin-Soo Choo, Keone Kela, Jose Leclerc and Jake Diekman.
-Cole Hamels’ July struggles have been well-documented. In his most recent start against the Oakland Athletics, he allowed seven earned runs on nine hits in just five innings pitched. Hamels also walked two, gave up two home runs and struck out only five batters. Not to mention, this was a game in which numerous scouts were in attendance to see if Hamels is a worthy trade candidate.
-Since the final game of his 52-game consecutive on-base streak, Shin-Soo Choo has gone 1-for-16 at the plate with no RBI and just two runs scored. Choo is probably THE toughest Rangers player to trade given his age and contract; a halt in momentum as the trade deadline approaches is close to killing his chances of a trade.
-Keone Kela blew his first save of the season Tuesday night against Oakland. He allowed a game-tying home run in the 9th inning, leading to an eventual 13-10 Texas Rangers defeat. The home run allowed was only his third given up in 35.2 innings of work this season.
-The trend continued the following night, but this time at the hand’s of Jose Leclerc. Leclerc got the opportunity to close last night due to Kela being overworked the night before. Texas had a one-run lead and was one strike away from victory when Leclerc gave up an opposite field home run to Khris Davis with a man on base. Just like that, the lead was gone and the Rangers lost another heart breaker.
-Lastly, Jake Diekman’s last outing did not go well either. In just 1/3 of an inning’s work Tuesday night, Diekman walked three batters, hit one, and ended up allowing four runs.
There you have it, the Rangers’ top trade candidates! None of whom are playing like they want to be traded to a contender.
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It’s impossible to say what exactly teams are looking for in specific trade candidates. Whether it’s overall track record, mechanics, leadership, grit, season production…
Though, if one of the qualifications is “what have you done for me lately”, none of the Texas Rangers trade candidates are helping themselves out. And if the players aren’t helping themselves, they’re certainly not helping the organization in its trade objectives.
Ultimately, the mentioned relievers will come out of recent bad outings just fine. Kela and Leclerc were victimized by one bad pitch in each of their outings; therefore, the smudge on their resumes can be erased rather easily. In addition, every team knows what veteran Jake Diekman is capable of. He simply had a bad night of control.
As for Hamels and Choo, the Rangers are in a VERY tough spot. Sadly, of the five Rangers mentioned, Hamels and Choo are the two that provide the least reasoning to keep around. Also sadly, it seems the interest for each is lessening. The organization is in a bind, but five days still remain until the deadline. Hamels has one more scheduled start over that time and Choo should play everyday. Perhaps each can spark a contending team to make a move.