At what point should the Rangers consider prioritizing 2025 at the trade deadline?

Texas Rangers v Milwaukee Brewers
Texas Rangers v Milwaukee Brewers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The Texas Rangers are fresh off another frustrating road trip, dropping six out of seven games. First they went into Milwaukee and dropped all three against the NL Central-leading Brewers. They then went to Baltimore for a four-game series against the Orioles where they only captured one (and it was to avoid the sweep).

They now head home to finish out the first half with series against the Padres and Rays before ending on the road against the Angels and Astros.

The All-Star break will take place at Globe Life Field. Not long after that is the trade deadline, and if the Rangers' anticipated lack of presence at the All-Star game is any indicator, there could be a shift in trade deadline philosophy. Should the Rangers look toward building for next season, or do they still think it's possible to make a real playoff push with a few additions right now?

The Rangers are currently 38-46 after their road trip. They are third in the division, good for eight games back of the first-place Mariners, and eight games back of the Royals, who hold the final AL Wild Card spot. That's a lot of ground to make up in just a few weeks.

Looking at the 12 remaining games on the first-half schedule, the most difficult series before the break is the three games in Houston. The Padres, Rays, and Angels are all winnable series leading up to that. They would have to go 10-2 over the final 12 games of the first half to get to the .500 mark, and 9-3 to sit only a couple games under .500.

If they can get within a couple games of .500 with the help of Josh Jung and Evan Carter returning soon, they have a chance to make a run with Jacob deGrom and Tyler Mahle coming back after the All-Star break (especially if Jung and Carter can help the offense score more consistently and they all carry that into the second half).

But a playoff push and buying at the deadline will only be realistic if the Rangers can put together a semblance of a turnaround and consistent play. The team has to give the front office a reason to spend increasingly scarce prospect resources as opposed to adding to them. Eight games under .500, where they currently stand, won't cut it. And if it remains the same or gets worse, they should probably cut their losses.

While it's still possible for the Rangers to get back into a position to contend and set themselves up as buyers at the deadline, they've yet to show us otherwise. And Corey Seager's injury obviously won't help the cause. Even wrose? No team has ever captured a Wild Card spot after sitting more than three games below .500 at the halfway point. The Rangers would be the first as they were seven games below .500 after Game 81.

In the event the Rangers do sell, it would be softly. They would ditch some expiring contracts of older players to help reload the farm as well as free up some space to add younger pitching and another reliable bat or two in the offseason. This would be a good option looking toward the future as the Rangers still have Seager and Marcus Semien under contract for the long haul alongside one of the most anticipated young cores in the game.