Texas Rangers Trade Rumors: Last Minute Buzz Ahead of the Trade Deadline
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The Texas Rangers acquired Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs last week in an effort to bolster their pitching staff. While Garza is certainly a nice addition to a rotation that has struggled through injuries for most of the season, he is far from being the only need that Texas has right now.
One of the biggest rumors recently has been that Texas is looking to trade for a hitter, particularly in the outfield. With several names being thrown around as to who the Rangers could acquire before the deadline passes, here is an update on some trade rumors surrounding the team.
Note: Any slide about a current Ranger will mention his current status with the team and possible team(s) he could be traded to. Any slide mentioning a non-Ranger will mention the team's interest in him.
All stats and info courtesy of MLBTradeRumors.com, MLB.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Star-Telegram.com, Freep.com, Twitter.com, YahooSports.com, USAToday.com and ESPN.com unless noted otherwise.
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1. Joe Nathan: Closer, Texas Rangers
Joe Nathan's name has recently surfaced in trade talks around the league.
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Status: Could be traded
Joe Nathan's job with the Rangers has appeared safe for most of the season, and why shouldn't it be? He earned his sixth All-Star Game appearance this season and has converted on 32 of his 34 save opportunities while posting a 1.73 ERA. Despite his impressive season thus far, Nathan's name is one that has recently surfaced in trade talks, and it looks like he could be on the way out of Texas.
It may seem a little crazy to be willing to part ways with your All-Star closer in an effort to make a playoff push, but Texas seems to think they have it figured out, should Nathan be dealt.
Joakim Soria recently made his debut with the Rangers after sitting out most of the season while recovering from Tommy John surgery he had in April 2012. Soria has spent the better part of his career as a closer, so the thinking is that he could step in to replace Nathan if he is traded. It's a risky move, but it could work.
Soria's career numbers are pretty good. in 304 career games he has converted on 160 of 180 save opportunities, posting a 2.36 career ERA while holding hitters to a .208 average. He has also made the All-Star Game twice through the first five years of his career, all with the Kansas City Royals.
One of the trade talks that looked to be the most prominent was a trade that would send Nathan to the Detroit Tigers. However, that appears to have all but broken down. Detroit acquired closer Jose Veras from the Houston Astros, making Nathan's chances of going there highly unlikely.
One landing spot for Nathan that appeared very possible was a move to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but I wouldn't expect that to happen now. The Dodgers recently signed closer Brian Wilson, formerly of the San Francisco Giants. Los Angeles needed help at the closer role, and Texas needs outfield help.
There was some speculation that Nathan could be moved to the Dodgers in exchange for Andre Ethier, however with Wilson now joining them, Nathan won't be moving to Los Angeles.
If Nathan is traded, I don't think it will be to a team in the American League. While Texas could receive a good player from an American League team, the only teams who are looking to make a deal would be playoff contenders. The worst thing that could happen would be for Texas to meet that team in the playoffs and have Nathan shut the door on them to end their season. If he is dealt, it would almost certainly be to a team in the National League.
Possible Landing Spots: Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Jurickson Profar: Shortstop, Texas Rangers
Jurickson Profar likely won't be dealt this season.
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Status: Will likely stay with Texas.
It's been a while since Jurickson Profar's name has surfaced in any trade rumors, but for the sake of re-confirming where he stands right now with Texas, he makes the list. The Rangers do not appear to be parting ways with Profar this season.
I think that they would at least consider trading Profar if a player like Giancarlo Stanton was to be offered to them, but the Marlins don't appear to be looking to deal the star right fielder. There doesn't look to be any big name players coming Texas' way who would lead to Profar being traded.
Expect Profar to remain with the Rangers unless an offer comes to them that they can't refuse.
Possible Landing Spots: None
3. Alex Rios: Outfielder, Chicago White Sox
Texas was once considered to be a serious contender for Rios, but that looks to have changed.
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Interest Level: Not interested
Alex Rios was recently considered to be the big bat that Texas would look to acquire before the deadline passes. As the days went by, the talks about Rios to Texas died down, and it now appears to be a dead deal, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
What likely killed this deal was Rios' contract. He is under contract through 2015 and is due to make $26 million between 2014 and 2015. While he is a good hitter, he certainly isn't worth all the money that is still due to him between now and 2015.
According to Jayson Stark of ESPN, the White Sox are looking for two top prospects plus another player in exchange for Rios. With Texas recently dealing Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards and Justin Grimm to the Cubs for Garza, they will likely want a top player in exchange for their other top prospects.
With Rios' high contract and inability to live up to the money he is being paid, don't expect the Rangers to become interested in him before the deadline passes.
4. Michael Young: Third Baseman, Philadelphia Phillies
Michael Young likely won't be re-uniting with the Texas Rangers this season.
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Interest Level: Little to none
There were a few reports coming out that Texas may have been interested in acquiring their former infielder Michael Young, but they don't appear to have much interest in him anymore.
While the Rangers could use Young as a designated hitter, or potentially anywhere else in the infield, according to MLBTradeRumors.com, they weren't all that big on bringing the 36-year-old veteran.
Young is hitting .277 on the season with seven homers and 32 RBI. Those aren't bad numbers but are probably not the type of production they are looking for at this point. While Young reportedly would only waive his no-trade clause for a reunion with Texas, I would almost guarantee that the Rangers do not trade for him before the deadline passes.
5. Giancarlo Stanton: Outfielder, Miami Marlins
The Rangers are desperately trying to acquire outfielder Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins.
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Interest Level: Very High
If there is one player who the Rangers have been persistently inquiring about, it is Giancarlo Stanton. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Texas is calling the Marlins just about every day to see if Stanton has become available, but so far, no dice.
Stanton would be the ideal player for Texas to acquire. Nelson Cruz is a big question mark for the Rangers right now, despite his great numbers. He's hitting .268 with 24 home runs and 71 RBI, but he is in the last year of his contract and may not be re-signed.
What will likely affect Cruz's return with the Rangers could be his connection to the Biogenesis report that is out right now. His name was one of the many names mentioned on the list, and a suspension could still be looming for Texas' star right fielder.
Texas would love to pickup Stanton in a trade and add him to their lineup. He plays right field just like Cruz does, and should they choose to keep Cruz, he could play elsewhere in the field or be used as a designated hitter.
His numbers on the season are good, but not great, partially because of an injury-plagued season this year. He is hitting .262 right now for the Marlins with 13 homers and 33 RBI. He has struck out 68 times in 62 games so far, but those numbers aren't too far off from his typical strikeout stats.
Miami doesn't seem to be interested in moving Stanton at this point. Despite reports that the Rangers are not looking to make any more noise before the deadline passes, I would expect them to still call about Stanton until the deadline has come and gone.