Texas Rangers: Five trade targets remaining this offseason
By Kenneth Nash
OF/3B Nick Senzel (Cincinnati Reds)
Nick Senzel is an off-the-wall candidate that has popped up since the Reds signed heavily linked Rangers target Nick Castellanos. Cincy possesses an overcrowded outfield and Senzel has been rumored all offseason as the centerpiece of a potential trade for Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians. While that moves look unlikely, Senzel still has been tossed around as a player the Reds could potentially move this offseason.
The former 2nd overall pick made his big league debut in 2019 and played in 104 games for Cincinnati. Formerly the organization’s top prospect, Senzel hit .256 with a .742 OPS and 12 homers as a 24-year old. Underwhelming results but not poor by any means for the young outfielder.
His problem in Cincy could arise regarding playing time though with the Reds looking to make a legitimate push in 2020 and lacking a place to play him regularly. His value is already down from where it was prior to 2019 and if he plays in spurts, it could hurt his production and in turn value similarly to Jurickson Profar when he was with the Rangers. For Texas, he would be another utility type player but one who has legitimate star potential. He played in center field for the Reds last season, a spot where Texas lack a convincing option with Danny Santana looking the likely starter despite poor defensive metrics. And even if the club wants to roll with Santana in center, Senzel came up as a third baseman and looks more than capable of playing there long-term.
If Texas did go after Senzel, the price is hard to gauge. He was earmarked to be the center of a trade for Lindor, one of the best players in baseball, but there’s a reason that deal didn’t get done. With his ability to play third, it could mean the Rangers would give up top prospect Josh Jung but are the Reds, a team looking to win now, that interested in a minor league third baseman, albeit one that could hit the majors in the next couple of seasons? Possibly. As a lower revenue team, Jung would give them a utility option on the cheap for a long-time. But so would Senzel. If the Reds liked Jung it would probably mean Texas parts way with some of their near-big league pitching talent as well. This is a tricky one to figure out but if the Rangers want to plan for the future, Senzel could be a cornerstone piece of their team.