Leody Taveras and Ezequiel Duran both showed flashes of how great they can be last season. Taveras started to come into his own more as a hitter. His speed and fielding ability have been on display since he debuted in the Majors. But his impact at the plate had been lacking. He hit .267 last year with a respectable .733 OPS and added 14 homers and 67 RBI's from the bottom of the lineup. He also showed the ability to step up and make big plays in big moments. Taveras' home run off Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the ALCS or his home run robbery of Yordan Alvarez in Game 3 of the same series both come to mind.
Duran showed some pop at the plate and was a very versatile defender who could play nearly any position in the infield or outfield. He got his chance as an every day guy when Corey Seager was injured. That's when he filled in at shortstop, his primary position, on a nearly daily basis. After Seager returned, he moved all around the field. He played some third base when Josh Jung went down with injury, and rotated in some left field to give the outfielders some rest from time to time. He also hit .276 with a solid .768 OPS adding 14 homers of his own.
The position of need a Taveras or Duran trade could help fill for Texas
They are also both prime trade pieces for an established player. Aside from the potential and production they have both shown, they are both controllable and cheap for the foreseeable future. Leody doesn't become an unrestricted free agent until 2028, and Duran isn't even eligible for arbitration until 2026. It is also worth noting that Duran is likely boxed out of being a starting infielder for the Rangers any time soon and the outfield will soon be crowded for Taveras with the quick ascension of Wyatt Langford.
A trade also seems like it may be more in the realm of possibility than at the start of free agency. The Rangers have been reported to be out on the Ohtani sweepstakes and GM Chris Young seemed to indicate the team wasn't necessarily looking to spend big in free agency this year.
All that being said, I think they should both be available for trade. But, not just for anyone. Their talent, production, and years of control are valuable assets for the Rangers. They should treat them as such. Taveras or Duran should only be available for a front-line starting pitcher. I think the Rangers trading either one for anything less than that would be an overpay.
This is also a market I could see the Rangers getting into. Each passing day calls more into question if the Rangers will be able to re-sign Jordan Montgomery; especially with what he will cost and the front office being more timid to spend this year. If the Rangers are unwilling to spend what it costs to keep him, trading for a starting pitcher seems quite likely and I would be shocked if it doesn't cost one of these guys.
A few big name starters are said to be available for trade this offseason as well. Names that make giving up Taveras or Duran worth it. Starters worth trading them for would include Tyler Glasnow from the Rays, Dylan Cease from the White Sox, Corbin Burnes from the Brewers, or Shane Bieber from the Guardians. They would of course have to be packaged with some minor league talent to get any of those deals done. But, if either Taveras or Duran can be packaged to get one of those four names, the Rangers should strongly consider it.