Texas Rangers can finally approach the trade market under control
By Travis Koch
On the back end of a rebuild, the Texas Rangers can be selective on the trade market. They can let the game come to them and only accept the offers that blow them away.
It seems like the Texas Rangers have really been getting kicked around lately with their trades. First, there was Yu Darvish. Texas waited until his ERA was at a career worst before shipping him to the Los Angeles Dodgers halfway through the 2017 season. The Dodgers sensed desperation from the Rangers; thus, they sent an underwhelming return package for the four-time All-Star.
Then of course there was the recent Cole Hamels trade to the Chicago Cubs. You wouldn’t believe it, but Texas decided to move Hamels when his ERA was at a career high (4.72) as well. That says a lot for a guy with 13 big league seasons to his name. The move was yet another act of desperation as the organization was nose-diving into rebuild mode.
In defense to the Darvish deal, the Texas Rangers were still flirting with contention at the time. They finished within shouting distance of a wildcard berth that year. The Hamels deal, however, I have no defense for. The Rangers simply waited way to long to swallow their pride on that one.
The reality for both deals is the organization did not get enough for what each pitcher was worth throughout his tenure in Arlington.
But, the past is the past. The Rangers have since refreshed and now have the opportunity to move forward having learned from their mistakes. Furthermore, they now have the opportunity to be stubborn, and even go on the offensive with their trade negotiations if they want to.
Nolan Writin’s Kenneth Nash covered Texas’ trade news from yesterday. No one was traded, though it has been reported that the Rangers are listening to offers for Nomar Mazara and Jurickson Profar.
The good news…they don’t have to trade either, so they can literally kick their feet up and wait to be wooed by an offer. Texas is finally in a power position; no longer in desperation mode.
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Profar gives the Rangers a ton of leverage. Versatile players have never been coveted more than they are in today’s MLB. Texas’ “play everywhere” guy can fit the needs of other teams at first base, second base, shortstop, third base and left field. Heck, he could probably even find a home in right field or center field. Plus, Profar is a switch hitter, making him difficult to match up against. He actually hit for a higher batting average and OPS from the right side of the plate last season.
It would not be surprising if Jurickson Profar draws interest from at least a handful of teams this winter. He’s coming off the best year of his career by a long shot and he hast no glaring weaknesses to turn teams away.
Nomar Mazara is arguably the Texas Rangers’ most talented hitter. He stings the baseball, shows patience at the plate, and can hit the ball a very long way, without much of a trajectory. Interested teams won’t see Mazara as a defensive asset, but the bat holds significantly more weight than the glove. At the age of 24 and under team control for three more years, teams should be salivating at the chance to acquire him.
The situations for each player plays perfectly into the Rangers’ plans. Wait for an offer that absolutely blows you away, or else hang up the phone. Texas should be looking for a top three pitching prospect for Mazara and a top 10 prospect for Profar.
If they don’t get what they want, Texas will come out with a better batting lineup and a more competitive 2019 team. There’s also a good chance each player’s value will only increase once the campaign begins. Finally, the Texas Rangers can let the game come to them! Let people anxiously knock on their door rather than the other way around.