3 Ways the Texas Rangers Can Upgrade for Playoffs Beyond Trading for Garza

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3 Ways the Texas Rangers Can Upgrade for Playoffs Beyond Trading for Garza
Brian Kersey/Getty Images
The Rangers recently acquired Matt Garza from the Cubs.

The Texas Rangers made a big splash in the trading pool Monday when they acquired starting pitcher Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs, but what else could Texas use to propel their playoff push?  While they have been very good for most of the season, the Rangers still have holes in their roster that could be filled.  

Garza is certainly a step in the right direction.  With all the injuries that Texas has had in its rotation this season, he is a welcome addition to the top of the order.  Here are some other ways the Rangers could improve their roster before the trade deadline in order to make a playoff run.

 

Acquire a Serviceable Designated Hitter

The Rangers have several players who have produced for them for the better part of this season.  Guys like Mitch Moreland, Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre have done a great job for Texas so far, but there are holes in their roster that could be filled for at least the remainder of this season.  

Duane Burleson/Getty Images
Alex Rios is hitting .278 for the White Sox this season with 12 homers and 48 RBI.

One position the Rangers should look to improve at before the deadline is designated hitter.  Lance Berkman got off to a hot start to begin the season, but has struggled since June.  Texas has also tried to fill Berkman's spot with players like Jurickson Profar and Jeff Baker, but have found little success.  

One last ditch effort outside of a trade could be the calling up of Manny Ramirez.  The Rangers signed Ramirez in early July with the idea that he could potentially contribute as a designated hitter.  While he has done a nice job with the Round Rock Express in Triple-A, he hasn't received a promotion to the majors yet.

If the Rangers are to pursue a DH before the deadline, two possible acquisitions could be either Alex Rios or Justin Morneau.  Both Rios and Morneau are playing for teams unlikely to make the playoffs this season, and according to MLB Trade Rumors, both could be dealt.  

 

Find Depth for the Outfield

Nelson Cruz has been tearing the cover off the ball for Texas this year, and Leonys Martin has done a nice job at center field as well.  The problem for the outfield has primarily been David Murphy.  

Murphy has been less than impressive this season.  His .224 average is 54 points lower than his lifetime average of .278, and his on-base percentage isn't much better as it currently sits at .280.  

It hasn't been talked about too much, but the Rangers aren't tied down to Murphy beyond this season.  With him under performing on a contract year, he could easily be replaced.  

It may be a bit unexpected to see Texas part ways with Murphy, but it's a move that would make sense given his struggles this year.  A designated hitter is certainly a position of need, but let's not overlook the struggles that have resulted from David Murphy's play.

 

More Starting Pitching?

Despite the recent acquisition of Matt Garza, Texas may be smart to consider acquiring another starting pitcher before the deadline passes.  Not that Texas should look to get another guy to put at the top of their rotation like Garza, but with all the injuries that their staff has incurred this season, an insurance pitcher would make sense.

The Rangers are still waiting on guys like Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison to make their returns, but it's unclear how much longer they'll be waiting.  Lewis recently began a rehab stint with the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders, and looks to be on his way back, but Harrison still has some work to do as he recovers from a herniated disk.

There is a slim chance that Texas would actually look to acquire another starter, even if it is for a low cost.  They don't have many areas to improve on this year.  With a solid bullpen, starting rotation and lineup, they're poised for a deep postseason run.  However, should they be able to acquire another starter for a low price, it could help them in their postseason push.

 

All stats and info courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com, MLB.com, ESPN.com, MLBTradeRumors.com, FoxSports.com, DallasNews.com and SI.com unless otherwise noted.

 

Follow Zachary on Twitter at @ZacharyKrueger

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