Per reports, the Texas Rangers have sent Nomar Mazara to the Chicago White Sox in a trade after rumors surrounding the outfielder increased Tuesday.
Overshadowed by the news that the New York Yankees and Gerrit Cole have agreed to a massive nine-year, $324 million deal was the report that the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox have agreed a deal that would send Nomar Mazara to the AL side of Chicago. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News broke the deal on Twitter late Tuesday night. Per TR Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers are acquiring minor league outfielder Steele Walker in exchange for Nomar Mazara.
Who Did Texas Get Back?
Walker was the second round draft pick for the White Sox in 2018 and currently sits as the sixth top prospect in their organization according to MLB Prospect Watch. The scouting report on Walker shows that he’s an advanced hitter with an above-average hit tool and solid power. Defensively, Walker has the ability to play center field despite just moderate speed and a slightly below average arm.
A product of the University of Oklahoma, Walker finished 2019 with the White Sox High-A affiliate hitting .269 in 100 games. He racked up 26 doubles, 10 homers and 42 walks while striking out just 63 times. He likely is another year or so away from the big leagues but he has the ability to advance quickly as a 23-year old.
Why Did Texas Make the Deal?
It was no secret the Rangers were looking to move on from Mazara this offseason as they tried to thin out their crowded outfield. With four outfielders who were left-handed hitters, the Rangers had to clear out some space just to make their lineup viable on an everyday basis. While Walker is a lefty bat, he likely doesn’t reach the Majors before Shin-Soo Choo’s contract is up at the end of the year. Logically then Calhoun can move to DH and Texas still only has two left-handed bats in the outfield in Walker and Gallo.
Moving Mazara for Walker also helps clear up a spot on the 40-man roster which was full for Texas. Walker isn’t required to be on the 40-man yet so Texas can use that spot on one of the free agent pitchers Texas has reportedly agreed deals with already. Walker seems to fit the mold of a professional hitter that the Rangers are trying to build their lineup with and could have the upside of an everyday player. This was probably as good an offer as Texas could’ve hoped for in exchange for Mazara.