The Texas Rangers want controllable starters. How about an ace version of that, with a little bullpen help thrown in as well?
In this edition of “GM Mode,” I am taking over for Jon Daniels, and doing a trade scenario where the Texas Rangers will not only be buying but swinging for the fences by pursuing an elite starting pitcher.
Texas Solves Two Problems in One Move
The Rangers offense has no trouble scoring when at full strength; however, there is a glaring issue with the pitching staff, despite the club’s position as a playoff contender. Texas does have a definite ace in Mike Minor. Though, thinking back to the past few World Series champions, not many have won with just a single ace on the depth chart. The 2015 Kansas City Royals were the most recent team to win it that way, but they had an incredible bullpen to fall back on.
The Rangers may be able to survive a wild-card game by pitching Mike Minor, but a five or seven-game series? That may be an issue. Unless they do this…
Texas Rangers Get RHP Noah Syndergaard and RHP Edwin Diaz
If the Mets decide that it’s finally time to completely blow things up, the Rangers could (and probably should) jump all over this deal.
Syndergaard is a local guy, and still has a few more years of club control left. Through 14 starts, he has a 4-4 record with a 4.45 ERA that has been lowering. He’s contributed quality starts in six of his last seven outings. The combination of Syndergaard not being a free agent until 2022, him being from Mansfield, and JD noting that he wanted to look at controllable arms, certainly makes the 26-year-old right-hander feel like a possible option.
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If the Texas Rangers can catch the Mets in a fire sale, why not target Edwin Diaz? Diaz has only posted an ERA over three once in his career (3.27) and has been terrific for the Mets, just as he was for the Mariners. He wouldn’t be a free agent until 2023, and he is only 25, so he fits the bill for the present and the future model that Jon Daniels is working towards.
Mets Get RHP Hans Crouse, OF Bubba Thompson, LHP Taylor Hearn, and 3B Sherten Apostel
For this move to be made, the Texas Rangers may have to part with an additional prospect, but probably not one in their top 30. Losing three top ten prospects is going to hurt. But for the opportunity to add a pair of all-stars in Syndergaard and Diaz is for sure worth it for Texas.
For the Mets, who are currently 4.5 games out of the second wild-card spot, they would probably have to drop to around ten games out to start a fire sale. The opportunity to grab Crouse and Thompson, who are in the top 100 on a few of the prospect rankings. Crouse would likely slide into the Mets farm system as a top-four prospect, while Thompson would join as a top ten guy.
Taylor Hearn and Sherten Apostel would be included in the deal because Crouse and Thompson alone probably wouldn’t land Syndergaard. Adding Hearn into the mix would push a deal for Syndergaard over the top a bit too much, so the Texas Rangers would ask for Edwin Diaz, and throw in Apostel, and possibly a lower level arm that isn’t on any of their top prospect lists.
Worried about the Rangers trading their best pitching prospect in a long time? R-E-L-A-X. Crouse is still in A ball, and still has three more levels of the minors to go through (assuming he doesn’t skip any) before coming to Arlington. And with the Rangers track record of developing pitching, is Crouse worth the risk of waiting for, when Syndergaard, who is established, could possibly be available?
The Texas Rangers farm system would be very depleted after this move, but the major league team would then have the pitching that it desperately needs, and will be in terrific shape for a big playoff push. The team would also have two guys that can step on the mound, and dominate their opponents in games one and two of a playoff match-up.