In the first deal of our FanSided Offseason Simulation, the Texas Rangers dealt Nomar Mazara to the San Diego Padres for a young starting pitcher.
I preface all of this with the reminder that this is a simulation conducted amongst the FanSided MLB network and not a real trade. Site experts representing teams from across the network took over their clubs as mock GMs and then proceeded to simulate the MLB offseason. With that out of the way, the Texas Rangers have made their first deal of the sim trading Nomar Mazara and Ian Gibaut to the San Diego Padres for Cal Quantrill.
We had a few priorities to address in our offseason sim one of which was clearing out the log jam of left-handed hitting outfielders. Nomar Mazara was the casualty in that decision and will be rejoining AJ Preller and new Padres manager Jayce Tingler in San Diego.
Why Did We Trade Mazara and Gibaut?
Of all the left-handed hitting outfielders Texas has, Mazara was the best combination of expendable yet moveable. We opted to hold onto Gallo obviously, along with Willie Calhoun and Shin-Soo Choo. Mazara is coming off his fourth straight season of basically replacement-level production and is sub-par defensively. He still has talent which is why he wasn’t devoid of value. However, he only has two years of team control left so now felt like the right time to try and move the 24-year old.
Gallo wasn’t going anywhere and we have every intention on making him the new face of the organization. He was on pace to be in the discussion as an MVP last season before injuries derailed his year. He’s a unicorn in the game with unmatched power from the left-handed side and some of the most severe launch angles in the league. He also has shown that he can hold his own in the outfield regularly playing in center for Texas last season. However, the big reason to move Mazara was opening up right field defensively. Gallo looks like a premier right fielder with solid range and a big arm. We want Gallo to be the everyday right fielder for the club and moving Mazara made this possible.
Calhoun stays with the club because of his upside at the plate. He’s already a more advanced hitter than Mazara and has more years left under team control. The latter half of 2019 was marked by Calhoun’s emergence as a quality big league hitter and keeping Mazara could mean limiting his at-bats. Calhoun feels like a cornerstone of the Rangers over the next few years and our goal was to get him consistent at-bats. Plans are for Calhoun to be the everyday left fielder in 2020 with some stints as a DH here and there before he becomes the full-time DH in 2021.
Choo would’ve been a nice player to move because it would’ve opened up a lot of space on the payroll. However, Choo maintains 10-5 rights which is effectively a no-trade clause though which limited our realistic trade options. Additionally, he’s limited to being a DH on a day-to-day basis which eliminates the National League. In the end, moving Choo this offseason sim just felt like a big challenge that wouldn’t net us much in return. Plus he’s been one of the most consistent hitters in the Rangers lineup over the past few seasons and by no means is a liability. He’ll be our regular DH in 2020.
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Regarding Gibaut, he was a bit of a tag-on to this deal. The Padres wanted a little extra to include Quantrill in this trade. We discussed some of their other young starting pitchers but wanted Quantrill so Gibaut was included to get it over the line. While he has some potential as a reliever, Texas is deep with right-handed relievers near the big league level and Gibaut was expendable.
Why Did We Trade For Quantrill?
Obviously this deal was partially about moving on Nomar Mazara. However, we did want to get something meaningful for Nomar and Quantrill is a right-handed pitcher with legitimate rotation upside. Quantrill was a Padres first round draft pick back in 2016 and managed to work his way to the #38 prospect in baseball in 2017 according to MLB Prospect Watch. However, a drop off saw him fall off the radar and in such a deep Padres system, he was passed up by other starters.
Quantrill made his big league debut in 2019 starting 18 games for the Padres and making a relief appearance in five others. He posted a 5.16 ERA in 103 inning last season to go along with a 1.301 WHIP. However, his 4.28 FIP signals he may have been a bit better than his ERA signals. Quantrill also is under team control through 2024 meaning he’s a long-term option for the Rangers rotation. This felt similar to the Kolby Allard acquisition in that he was a highly touted pitcher that has fallen off, but still has room for development. The plan is for Quantrill to compete for a rotation spot for our faux 2020 Rangers.