The Rangers’ outfield is crowded. Nomar Mazara, Joey Gallo, Shin-Soo Choo, and Delino DeShields are all viable options at the moment. But so is Willie Calhoun. And in my opinion, Calhoun is the most expendable. I’m not saying he’s the worst of all those outfielders, or won’t be a successful major league baseball player. I’m saying I think Mazara and Gallo are better all around hitters and that Calhoun is the best player the Rangers can afford to part with that will bring in a decent return.
Enter the perennially cheap Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays won 90 games last year and might have their eye on being competitive this year. That doesn’t mean they’re buying overpriced free agents, though. No, I think Tampa Bay would be willing to improve their team via trade.
Carlos Gomez is a free agent, and Calhoun is probably ready to play an everyday role in the outfield. Perhaps the Rays could be convinced to ship lefty Matthew Liberatore to the Rangers in exchange for the Rangers slugger. Texas needs pitching, and fielding positions are easier to fill in free agency. Liberatore is the Rays’ fifth-ranked prospect and posted a 0.98 ERA last season in eight games with the Tampa Bay’s rookie league team.
Bottom line: Texas needs to deal from their surplus for more pitching, and Calhoun for Liberatore makes sense.