The Texas Rangers have a trade piece that just about every contender should want. Yet, Mike Minor remains home as the trade deadline nears.
They say this is a starting pitching trade market. They say starting pitchers will fly off the blocks. Well, the biggest starter dealt so far is Marcus Stroman, and he went to a team that very likely won’t make the playoffs. 36-year-old Jason Vargas went to the Phillies, and Jordan Lyles, owner of a 5.36 ERA, was traded to the Brewers. Oh, and Trevor Bauer was just dealt to the Reds, but they’re not contenders either. For whatever reason, contending teams are being quite timid.
The behavior of playoff-capable teams isn’t helping the Texas Rangers move their top asset, that being Mike Minor. Of course, there’s the possibility that the Rangers aren’t actively shopping him, as they have him under contract for another year. What we’d all give to know what’s going on behind the scenes and in the mind of GM Jon Daniels.
If the Rangers do intend to trade Minor, they shouldn’t have a tough time making it happen. Obviously they want a fair return package, but some team out there should be willing to meet their price.
Look at the Minnesota Twins. They have a chance to do something really special this season, but they’ve watched their division lead fall to three games over the Indians. You would think the Twins would want a big time arm to help their push to the postseason, as well as a run in the postseason. Their staff has been very good, but Minor would be a definite upgrade to Kyle Gibson, Martin Perez or Michael Pineda.
Minnesota will be good next year too. Minor is signed through 2020, so the Twins can get an impact player for the remainder of 2019 and get ahead of the game for 2020. They have plenty of prospect talent to warrant sending some the Rangers’ way. Minor to the Twins makes a lot of sense.
How about the Yankees? They have their eyes set on a World Series, plus it’s in their nature to go huge at the trade deadline. New York starting pitchers have struggled immensely in July, collectively pitching to an ERA over 7.00. James Paxton has not been good, C.C. Sabathia is injured, J.A. Happ has flat-lined and Masahiro Tanaka has fallen off quite a bit. Maybe those guys will regain their form, but the Yankees aren’t known for their patience.
Perhaps the Rangers and Yankees have engaged in Mike Minor talks. New York doesn’t have a very deep farm system, and they’ve reportedly been reluctant to give up any of their top 100 prospects on the MLB spectrum. Apparently third basemen Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar are available, which is certainly intriguing. The Rangers are going to want a high potential pitcher as part of a trade package, however.
The Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers are fighting hard for a playoff spot. Milwaukee is a game out of the NL Central and half a game off the Wild Card. Philly is 5.5 games out of the division and holders of the second Wild Card slot.
Each team’s starting rotation ranks in the bottom half of the National League in ERA. Zach Davies has lost his way and the bulk of the Brew Crew’s starters are on the IL. Jake Arrieta, Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta have been disappointments for the Phillies this year. And the additions of Drew Smyly and Jason Vargas probably aren’t going to cut it in regards to escalating a playoff push.
It’s safe to say both teams need considerable rotation help if they’re going to do anything noteworthy come September and October. Mike Minor would be a great start to the healing process to either staff.
The Texas Rangers have something that many teams should want, yet no team has stepped up. Again, it’s possible the Rangers are protecting Minor and are willing to accept keeping him for next season. Though, if they are aiming to trade him, they shouldn’t have a difficult time. As of 8:00 AM CT, seven hours remain until the 2019 trade deadline. Texas has that much time to make a splash.