Rangers insider speculates on blockbuster trade with division rival

Well, this could be intriguing.
Oakland Athletics pitcher Mason Miller
Oakland Athletics pitcher Mason Miller / G Fiume/GettyImages

When you throw a baseball over 100 MPH, people take notice. There's something about seeing that radar gun light up with triple digits that excites the crowd. It also demoralizes the opposition.

That's the type of repertoire that Oakland Athletics' reliever Mason Miller possesses. If you've been a Texas Rangers fan long enough, you've seen Miller on occasion, and know just how devastating the flamethrower can be when he emerges from the A's bullpen.

If only the Rangers had an arm like that to turn to late in the game, right? Well, Rangers' beat writer Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News believes that Texas could be in the market for Miller if the A's make him available before the MLB trade deadline.

Rangers insider speculates on blockbuster trade with division rival

Miller will draw trade interest, there's no doubt about that. As Grant accurately pointed out during his appearance on the Foul Territory podcast, teams are always looking for big arms around the trade deadline. You can search far and wide, but it's doubtful that you'll find any bigger than what Miller brings to the table.

One look at Baseball Savant, and you'll be blown away by Miller's stats. The right-hander is in the 100th percentile in expected ERA, expected batting average, fastball velocity, whiff rate, and strikeout rate. Miller also ranks among the top 5% in the majors in chase rate and hard hit rate. In short, Miller is a dominant closer.

But with stats like that and five years of team control remaining, the price tag to acquire Miller's services will be sky high. There's just no comp to what Miller brings to the table, so the A's will be able to set a ridiculous price. Furthermore, since he doesn't become a free agent until after the 2029 season, Oakland doesn't have to rush this type of deal to the finish line. If the A's hold on to Miller past July 30, he could be Oakland (or Sacramento, and maybe eventually Las Vegas) for the next several seasons.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required) believes that any team wishing to acquire Miller before the trade deadline will need to surrender a young player of comparable ability, or a substantial package of multiple youngsters.

Thus, if the Rangers wanted to acquire Miller, it may cost them a player like Wyatt Langford. If that's too steep, a package Sebastian Walcott and Brock Porter might get a deal done. The point is, it won't be cheap. But given the status of the Rangers bullpen and the team's desire to repeat as World Series champions, it might be worth the risk. This situation is definitely be worth keeping an eye on.

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