Buy or Sell: How Should the Texas Rangers Approach the Trade Deadline?
By Kenneth Nash
Buy or Sell…What’s the Verdict?
Frankly, the Rangers time of waiting is running out with significant decisions on the horizon the biggest of which is what to do with Joey Gallo long-term. Texas needs to give him a reason to sign an extension or they need to move him while his value is high and they can net a massive return. It sounds callous for the club’s biggest homegrown star but it’s a position the club has put themselves in.
That need for a decision means they need to be intentional in how they approach the trade deadline this year. Lance Lynn’s value is at an all-time high and honestly, there is not a feasible way for the Rangers to be legitimate contenders next season. Texas banked on holding on to Mike Minor last season in a similar situation and it has backfired a bit. Minor has struggled with to work through the interrupted offseason and his value is a fraction of what it was pre-deadline last year. The Texas Rangers cannot really afford to have a similar situation occur with Lynn.
Beyond Lynn who could net them legitimate franchise shaping prospects, Texas has a number of veterans on expiring deals or players who are at their highest career values who could bring in talent. Mike Minor, despite his sluggish start, is still a commodity on the trade market. His struggles aren’t injury based and he should be able to right the ship at some point this year. Shin-Soo Choo’s tradability increased this year with the shift to a temporary universal DH. With every team using a DH and 16 teams in postseason contention, Choo should have a few suitors to which he would be willing to approve a trade.
Todd Frazier was added on a favorable deal this offseason and is having a great season due in large part to his ability to crush left-handed pitching. His presence, plus ability to play both corner infield spots is valuable especially considering his favorable team option for the 2021 season. Others like Danny Santana and Rafael Montero have team control left making them economical options for the Rangers and other clubs. However from Texas’ perspective, there has to be evaluation on whether their resurgence in 2019 and this season is indicative of their futures or are they likely to regress towards their early career production. If it’s the former, they carry an all-time high value and could be moved for some young players who could help make an impact for Texas in the future.
It’s never fun for a team to admit they are in a rebuild. But it’s time for Texas to take notable steps to reshaping their organization. Their farm system is near the bottom of Major League Baseball in terms of future value meaning adding significant players to help now is unlikely and a risky proposition. What they have done well though is bring in players who had seen their value drop significantly and turn them into legitimate big league contributors. When you do that you either need to win or move them for more assets. Texas isn’t winning. That leaves one option. Losing Lance Lynn would be a blow to the ego as the first real ace the Texas Rangers have had in some time. But the young talent and future contributors a real sell could bring in has the potential to be franchise defining. Texas cannot afford to miss out on that opportunity.