Texas Rangers: Don’t sleep on Spencer Patton as a trade deadline asset
Texas Rangers’ reliever Spencer Patton has only made appearances in 14 games out of the bullpen in 2021, but he’s made every one of them count.
Move out of the way, Ian Kennedy!
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Since being re-called from AAA Round Rock, the 33-year-old right-hander has an elite 0.77 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 11.2 innings. He’s become something of a savior and a reliable option for manager Chris Woodward late in games recently.
That, of course, can have tremendous value to contending teams looking to bolster their relief corps ahead of the trade deadline. And in case you didn’t get the memo, the Texas Rangers will be sellers at this year’s deadline.
Patton is what you would call a traditional trade deadline acquisition in the sense that he’s a dominant reliever on an expiring contract (known as a rental in trade lingo). Therefore, fans shouldn’t expect to receive a huge haul in exchange for the righty’s services, but a piece or two isn’t an unreasonable expectation.
Spencer Patton has become a surprise trade deadline asset for the Texas Rangers
One area where Patton has excelled this season is getting out of jams, which is no small feat and should only look even more impressive in the eyes of contending teams.
Prior to this current Rangers stint, Patton had spent 2017-2020 in Japan after spending 2014-2015 with Texas and 2016 with the Cubs. His career 5.29 ERA in MLB isn’t anything to write home about, and in fact, could be one potential cause for concern as teams mull the possibility of some regression on his end.
Ace Kyle Gibson has the same type of concern as a trade asset, as his career ERA (4.38) is solidly higher than his 2021 season ERA of 2.29.
And while these concerns are valid, we can only place values on relevant sample sizes, and what Gibson and Patton have both given us in 2021 so far are productive pitchers who could definitely help a contender right now.
It should be a victory that the Texas Rangers have managed to turn a guy like Spencer Patton into a possible trade chip in such a short amount of time. That’s not easy to do. Now we’ll see if they can leverage this achievement into something that can help this rebuilding cause.