Previewing Possible Texas Rangers Trade Deadline Acquisitions
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The trade deadline is still months away, but it's never too early to take a look at a few possible acquisitions that could be made once it arrives. With Texas being one of the best teams in the league, it will likely look to be buyers in a market that could boast several good players.
Teams that are struggling right now could still turn their season around before the deadline. However, with a quarter of the season having passed, we should have a pretty good idea of who the contenders and non-contenders will be.
Here is a look at some possible trade acquisitions the Rangers could make.
1. Miami Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton
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Giancarlo Stanton is one of the top young power hitters in the league. At just 23 years old, he has played in four major league seasons and has accumulated a total of 96 home runs in his short career.
Stanton has gotten off to a rough start this season, hitting .227 with three home runs and nine RBI in 20 games played. His on-base percentage is still at a respectable .341, as he has drawn 12 walks in the few games he has played this season.
Stanton has an injury that he is currently struggling through, and he may not return to Miami's lineup until June. While his injury should be of some concern, there are still plenty of reasons that he would make sense for the Rangers.
Miami may be willing to part with Stanton, who will be up for his first year of arbitration at the end of this season. Trading him could bring in a nice group of prospects for the Marlins, who don't look to be heading to the playoffs anytime soon.
There are already have some reports that have linked the Rangers to Stanton. Don't be surprised if you see the young slugger in a Rangers uniform after the deadline, barring any health issues.
2. Miami Marlins: Ricky Nolasco
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Sticking with the Marlins here, it would not be surprising to see them also test the trade market for Ricky Nolasco.
Nolasco is set to be a free agent after the 2013 season, and he's been a solid pitcher for the struggling Marlins. His record currently sits at 3-5 with a 3.96 ERA, but he has shown good command on the mound, striking out 50 batters while walking only 14.
Texas has had some of the top starting pitching in the league so far, but it's not unreasonable to think that a pitcher could perhaps begin to struggle from now to July 31. Teams that are serious contenders are always looking to solidify their pitching staff by the time the playoffs come around, and Texas certainly falls in that category.
The Rangers wouldn't have to commit to Nolasco beyond the 2013 season, meaning he could make for a nice acquisition at the trade deadline should his services be needed.
3. New York Mets: Marlon Byrd
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It would not be surprising to see Marlon Byrd make a return to the Rangers prior to the trade deadline passing. Byrd played with the Rangers from 2007 to 2009, and they could use the veteran back in their outfield.
Byrd is capable of playing any position in the outfield, but he has been used primarily as a center fielder and left fielder throughout his career. Left fielder David Murphy has struggled for the Rangers, hitting .219 with six home runs and 18 RBI over 45 games this season.
In 33 games for the Mets this year, Byrd has been a serviceable player. The 35-year-old veteran is hitting .259 on the season with a .299 on-base percentage. Of his 28 hits on the year, 12 of them have gone for extra bases, four of which were home runs.
Byrd is at that age where his best years are likely behind him, but his performance on the year is better than that of David Murphy and other outfielders on Texas' roster. Texas wouldn't have to give up much to acquire Byrd, and the veteran outfielder is due to be a free agent after this season.
4. Tampa Bay Rays: David Price
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Rays pitcher David Price is a three-time All-Star, and he won the American League Cy Young Award in 2012. This season, expecting Price to win 10 games could be a bit of a stretch, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be traded for.
Price has no doubt struggled this season. He is off to a 1-4 start, and his ERA is through the roof at 5.24. Despite his early-season struggles, he could certainly turn his year around.
The Rays ace has been placed on the disabled list with strained triceps in his pitching arm. Perhaps some time off could help him get back to his dominating ways.
Price is eligible for arbitration following the 2013 season, and Tampa Bay could have a hard time re-signing the stud pitcher. Texas could be willing to throw some of its top players to the Rays in exchange for Price should the two teams be able to come to agreements on a long-term deal with the former Cy Young winner.
5. Seattle Mariners: Michael Morse
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Michael Morse is another hitter who could be on the move at the trade deadline. The Seattle Mariners are currently 20-27 right now, but they likely won't be in contention by July. Again, citing Texas' struggles in the outfield this season, Morse could help bolster the Rangers' outfield offensively.
Morse has hit .244 on the season for the Mariners and has 10 home runs—the second-most of any outfielder in the American League. His 18 RBI could be a bit troublesome to teams looking to acquire Morse, but Seattle has one of the worst-hitting teams in the league, making runs scarce to come by.
The 31-year-old veteran is another player who is a free agent at the end of this season. He would certainly be capable of helping the Rangers in a playoff push and should be on the market if Seattle falls out of contention by the deadline.