Per reports, the Texas Rangers are open to buying and selling this trade season. GM Jon Daniels has some major decision-making forthcoming.
The Texas Rangers find themselves in quite the predicament — a good one, at that. It seems their “rebuild” is ahead of schedule based on a 36-30 record and a current playoff position. Entering the season as a presumed seller come the trade deadline, the gears are shifting towards Texas being buyers instead.
Jon Morosi of the MLB Network reported today that the Rangers are preparing buying and selling scenarios regarding the deadline. He added that they are in fact weighing towards buying at the moment.
GM Jon Daniels is going to soak up as much time as he can before taking action one way or the other. The Rangers look good right now, but the deadline remains 50 days away. He could probably wait until the last second (literally) to pull the trigger on a deal if he wanted. Mike Minor may very well draw attention for that long, unless Daniels takes him off the trade block.
Realistically, though, we’re looking at some serious rumoring in about three or four weeks. That means three or four more weeks of figuring out what exactly this team is. If Texas stays on par, or takes even the slightest step forward, buying talent to remain in contention would be the right play. If they waver, or fall out of contention, selling would be the play.
Don’t expect any extremes, however. The Rangers have a lot going for them right now, lending to a positive outlook for this season and seasons to come. They’ve spent so much time stocking the farm system that it would be loony for them to give a bunch of prospect talent away. On the other hand, a shot at the postseason is a shot at the postseason. That doesn’t come all too often for the Texas Rangers, and they haven’t sniffed the playoffs since losing the division series in 2016.
Daniels seems to have a good grasp on the situation. Morosi mentioned “controllable starters” in his tweet, meaning Texas is interested in acquiring arms that they would obtain past this season. Daniels doesn’t want to go all in on 2019 when 2020 and beyond has been the target for so long.
In all likelihood, the pitchers he pursues will come in the “complimentary piece” variety. The Rangers won’t go after an ace or a big name closer. Those types of players will demand too steep of a price.
But they may go after a starting pitcher who they feel will command a number three or four spot in the rotation. Such a pitcher may not dominate, though he’ll keep the Rangers in the game and allow the offense to do what it does better than almost every team — score runs. That’s the idea, at least.
Furthermore, there are always a few diamonds in the rough when it comes to relievers. Perhaps Texas can bargain for a young and emerging bullpen arm, bolstering their current crew and giving them some flexibility as the regular season lengthens.
There’s an unusual amount of pressure on the Texas Rangers front office this June. Every game the team plays weighs on one side of the buy/sell borderline. The good news that pressure doesn’t fall on the players. They’re just out there trying to win each game, and they’re doing a pretty good job of it so far.