Buy or Sell: How Should the Texas Rangers Approach the Trade Deadline?

Texas Rangers ace Lance Lynn has the potential to be one of the most valuable players at the MLB Trade Deadline (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Texas Rangers ace Lance Lynn has the potential to be one of the most valuable players at the MLB Trade Deadline (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 6: Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Texas Rangers bats during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on August 6, 2020 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Rangers 6-4. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 6: Shin-Soo Choo #17 of the Texas Rangers bats during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on August 6, 2020 in Oakland, California. The Athletics defeated the Rangers 6-4. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /

The Case for Selling

Of the three scenarios, the case for selling might have the most evidence in its corner, despite not being a fun one from the perspective of many fans. The Rangers, who currently sit 10-13, are now 3.5 games back of a surging Astros squad for the second spot in the AL West and are 1.5 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot. Usually, those distances would feel close enough to cover the gap especially when Texas still has 10 head-to-head games against the Astros on the horizon. The problem is, those games all come after the August 31 trade deadline meaning if Texas could find themselves distantly out of a playoff spot in September but without a chance to purge any valuable trade assets.

Catching the Astros feels unlikely despite all their injury struggles. However the Wild Card is still a very real possibility for Texas who trails the second Wild Card team, Baltimore, by 1.5 games. Essentially Texas is competing against the Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers and Royals for the final Wild Card slot, a race which you would think the Rangers have a decent shot at winning. The concern though is whether or not securing that final Wild Card spot is really a victory in the expanded playoff format. Even if they crack the postseason, Texas still has virtually no shot of making a run at the World Series so a playoff berth is more of a consolation prize than anything.

If that is the mindset, which it is for many fans of the organization, then looking at what the Rangers could do to build for the next few seasons should be considered. Texas has a number of valuable assets who could garner enough in return to reshape the Rangers farm system. Lance Lynn headlines that list as a potential Cy Young candidate with a team-friendly extra year of control. Beyond Lynn, who is already receiving trade interest, though players like Mike Minor, Shin-Soo Choo, Todd Frazier and Danny Santana as well as some of their relief corp could all net them some decent prospect additions.

If the Texas Rangers committed to selling, no player should be off the table. However they could conceivably hang on to a lot of their core while still adding young players who could help almost immediately. The key is, if they are going down this path, they have to be willing to commit fully. No, Joey Gallo is not going anywhere. While Texas can’t afford to label anyone untouchable, it seems hard to believe the front office will let their best chance at a superstar player leave two years prior to free agency eligibility. However, all those names mentioned above, alongside others, should be on the block. Only moving one or two players would just push off contention with another season of mediocrity.

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