Texas Rangers: Julio Borbon and Others Who Could Be Traded Come July
The Texas Rangers are 16-5, have baseball's hottest team and are determined to put the demons of their two World Series losses in consecutive seasons behind them this year.
While it might be a bit premature to talk about mixing up the current roster so soon, there are several candidates who could be on the move to bolster the squad as the trade deadline approaches and the weaknesses on the team become more glaring.
If a quality right-handed bat or middle reliever were to come available in the middle of the summer, these are the guys who would likely get the call that they're on the move.
Also, he hasn't been the pitcher the Rangers thought they were getting when they made the trade for him last summer. He hasn't been able to command his usually-effective splitter in big spots, and wasn't even active for the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
I like Uehara and the role he carves out. He's not only a valuable bullpen piece, but he's also a bridge to the Yu Darvish cultural gap, and a savvy veteran. If he can pitch like he did Saturday night, giving up no hits and getting a strikeout with a five-run lead, he could make the cut without worry.
But GM Jon Daniels looked at moving him for a reason, and he might revisit that should the right deal come along.
"Scooter" Feldman is the dependable long man and spot starter in the Rangers bullpen. He was a 17-game winner just three seasons ago, and at 29 years old, he's got some good baseball in his arm as a starting pitcher.
While the Rangers like having his depth on the team, no doubt, they might have to address the simple fact that they have too many starters vying for only five slots. If Feldman has a chance to help a team in the National League and the Rangers feel they are getting good value, then maybe Feldman is on the move.
However, the Rangers are also an injury away from needing Feldman to come in and pitch every fifth day. With Alexi Ogando firmly planted in the eighth-inning role and highly-touted prospect Martin Perez not quite ready, they would need Feldman in a pinch should an injury arise.
It will be interesting to see what happens here, because Feldman is a quality No. 3 or 4 starter and a good fit with his sinking fastball in Arlington.
The once highly-regarded prospect has somewhat fallen out of favor with the Rangers scouting department, as he is stuck in neutral at AAA Round Rock amidst injuries and durability concerns.
He has a formidable fastball that can reach the upper 90s, and a power curve that Texas would like to use to get hitters out in the late innings.
But he can't do so if he can't stay on the field, and some feel if he doesn't seize the opportunity to dominate or at least pitch well against AAA hitters, that he could be on his way out.
His live arm and potential could be attractive to certain teams, and Texas could package him with another player to get an area of need filled at the deadline.
Craig Gentry has seized the backup center field/defensive replacement job. Leonys Martin is rising fast, and the Rangers also have some guy named Josh Hamilton roaming center field hitting .400 right now.
Borbon lost his chance to be the center fielder for this team. His defensive struggles, which included him dropping a routine fly ball on opening day in 2011, kept him from using his speed as a weapon.
Like Chris Davis, who wore his welcome out with strikeouts, Borbon could use a fresh start. He could be a valuable speed guy off the bench for a team until he proved himself ready to handle a full-time starting gig, and his value wouldn't be that low, since he's still pretty young.
The Rangers could package him with Scheppers and a major-leaguer for a piece they want, and it wouldn't surprise me if Borbon wasn't affiliated with the Rangers at all in 2013.