Everyone remembers the Joey Gallo trade to the New York Yankees last summer, when the Texas Rangers exchanged him for four prospects. The other player going to the Bronx in that deal was lefty Joely Rodriguez.
But you might not remember that through all that chaos, John King was the lefty reliever originally packaged in that deal with Gallo.
Had that proposal gone through, the Rangers would’ve received two additional prospects because of King’s affordable salary and years of team control as a talented left-handed reliever.
Instead, Texas sent Rodriguez due to issues with King’s medicals (he had shoulder problems in 2021). That whole scenario led to one pretty obvious conclusion: John King is a pretty valuable trade chip, especially if the Yankees were willing to add two more prospects in the original deal.
The Texas Rangers should revisit the idea of trading John King, who posted a 3.52 ERA last season, as well as fellow lefty Brett Martin, who had a 3.18 ERA in 2021.
Brett Martin and John King are underrated Texas Rangers trade chips
Both lefties are in their 20s, come at a low cost and for years, and could be weapons out of the bullpen for a team ready to win now.
King and Martin are often overlooked on this Rangers team because of their roles, but they were two of Texas’ better relief options in 2021. Martin, in particular, was asked to mop up a lot of messy situations on the bases. King, meanwhile, was a popular tandem choice before his injury for manager Chris Woodward when the team employed that strategy with their starters.
Even though the Texas Rangers are expected to improve upon last season in 2022, relievers are usually the last pillars to construct on a winning team. They’re not quite at that stage yet.
Given how weak this year’s reliever free agent class is, though, Brett Martin and John King could be commodities for teams in need of controllable, left-handed relievers.