A number of names for the Texas Rangers have crept up on the trade rumor mill this month, but Nomar Mazara could be the most surprising.
Names like Mike Minor, Hunter Pence and Chris Martin were expected to creep up on the MLB hot stove this summer. The Texas Rangers were tipped to be sellers before the season even started and despite being a legitimate contender for a Wild Card spot through much of June, an 8-game losing skid pretty much eliminated chances that they could sneak into the playoffs this year. That only rejuvenated those trade rumors. However, probably the most surprising name to creep up in discussions is 24-year old outfielder, Nomar Mazara.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic noted in his “Rosenthal’s trade deadline notebook” ($), that the Texas Rangers are “receiving inquiries” on Mazara. Mazara is in the midst of yet another replacement level season which has Texas fans clamoring for a change. Maz, regarded at one time as one of the top prospects in the Rangers system, got his big league break in April of 2016 at just 20 years old. His talent was undeniable with the organization and fans alike hoping they had a budding star on their hands. However, fast forward nearly 2100 plate appearances later, and Mazara has progressed little, with the argument even being made that he’s regressing.
Nomar has yet to post an average over the .266 clip he posted in 2016 and has yet to eclipse 20 homers in a single season despite possessing some elite power. He’s likely on pace to surpass that mark in 2019 but still sits with a disappointing .743 OPS that isn’t acceptable for a player whose value lies almost exclusively at the plate.
Without a doubt, Mazara would draw some interest from other teams as a young player that still flashes some star potential. Long-term he probably profiles as a RF/DH combo that if all goes well, sits in the middle of a successful lineup. However, there are still plenty of steps to be taken before that level is reached and right now, we haven’t seen Mazara take those steps.
I find it highly unlikely that Mazara gets dealt before the end of the month. The Rangers would be selling very low on a player that they still consider a star-potential guy according to local beat writers. He’s at times flashed some of the best power in the lineup, rivaling slugging counterpart, Joey Gallo. He has the swing that allows him to work gap-to-gap if need be also. While I think Texas was open to dealing him this winter and will listen to offers now, a trade in the midst of yet another mediocre season would see the Rangers take a net loss on their long-term investment.