The Texas Rangers figure to make a few trades between now and the trade deadline next Wednesday. Here are a few predictions on where some of their key assets will be playing come August 1.
As the trade deadline approaches, the Rangers are teetering the line between buyer and seller. As of today, it still appears the Rangers will sell. Who and how many they will trade remains to be seen. It is possible they find themselves as “conservative sellers” in the sense that they look to deal some of their rental assets but hold onto more controllable players with the possibility of competing next year or by some miracle getting back into the thick of the wild card race this season.
Because of the Rangers’ trade assets and their position in the standings, they hold plenty of leverage in what is already a seller’s market. Here are a few predictions on where some of the notable players talked about in trade rumors will be playing come August 1:
Mike Minor – Minnesota Twins
I have changed this prediction about 4 times before reverting back to my initial thoughts a couple of days ago. Anyone’s guess is as good as any, but I am thinking Minor goes to the Twins. Minor has a no-trade clause that includes several west coast and east coast teams according to Evan Grant.
While Atlanta is not on that list, my hunch is Atlanta either does not add a starter (they already added Dallas Keuchel) or adds Marcus Stroman (because of the connect the Braves’ GM has to Toronto). The Twins have a sneaky good system that could conceivably put together a prospect package that fits the Rangers and the Indians are red hot on their tail.
Update: This was tweeted as I was finishing this piece.
Lance Lynn – Texas Rangers
The Rangers cannot piece together an entire rotation in one offseason. They either trade Minor or Lynn. Not both. Lynn has more control and therefore probably stays.
Chris Martin – Washington Nationals
Their bullpen is a big problem and they need guys who can consistently hit the strike zone. Martin makes perfect sense. Additional prediction: Martin comes back to Texas in the offseason as a free agent.
Jose Leclerc – Texas Rangers
The Rangers committed themselves to Leclerc in the offseason with a new contract. Even with some of his inconsistency this year, it looks like a team friendly contract. He is not going anywhere.
Shawn Kelley – Texas Rangers
His injury and deep connection to manager Chris Woodward (who convinced him to come to Texas rather than retire or go somewhere else) keeps him from being dealt. Plus, he has an affordable team option for next year.
Hunter Pence – Cleveland Indians
Cleveland could use a right handed bat to play in an OF corner or DH. Their normal lineup versus left-handed starting pitchers includes a lefty DH and RF on most occasions.
Logan Forsythe – San Francisco Giants
Like Kelley, Forsythe has a close relationship to the Rangers manager, but he or Asdrubal Cabrera appear expendable (one of them will have to hold down 3B the rest of the way). While it may be preferable to keep Forsythe and deal Cabrera, Forsythe has more trade value. The Giants have become conservative buyers and have 3 left-handed infielders in their normal lineup and some of them are struggling. They could use a utility right-handed infielder.
Asdrubal Cabrera – Texas Rangers
Speaking of Cabrera, his trade value is fairly low given his production or lack thereof. He has also only played 3B this year while Forsythe has played all four infield spots. I anticipate Cabrera will continue to be the Rangers 3B for the remainder of the year.
Danny Santana – Texas Rangers
This is a tough one. His value has skyrocketed, but I think he has worked his way into the future plans of this team. He is controlled through 2021. He may be the Rangers’ version of what the Astros had in Marwin Gonzalez.
Nomar Mazara – Texas Rangers
Both Levi Weaver and Emily Jones made a bold prediction that Nomar Mazara would get dealt in their most recent podcast. My hunch is that he stays. The Gallo injury de-crowds the outfield for now. Moving someone like Mazara feels like the kind of deal that is more likely to happen over an offseason (such as the Jurickson Profar trade, for example).
It is going to be a fun and tense next few days as a fan to watch the rumor mill spin like crazy. All of these predictions could end up wrong, but it is safe to say some will be traded. The question is to where and how many players the Rangers will trade.