Potential Deals Jon Daniels Could Make at Trade Deadline
With the recent hits to the Texas Rangers' starting rotation, general manager Jon Daniels could be busy over the next few months.
On May 14, CBS Sports' Mike Axisa reported that the Rangers placed Martin Perez on the 15-day disabled list. He also explained that Perez has a partially torn UCL and may require Tommy John surgery. The 23-year-old was 4-3 and threw his first two career shutouts this season.
On top of the Perez news, ESPN.com’s Jean-Jacques Taylor wrote that Matt Harrison will indeed require spinal fusion surgery to remove the discomfort he has in his back. Harrison made just two starts in 2013 and has only took the mound four times this season.
Both would be huge blows to a rotation that has seen hurlers come and go over the last two-and-a-half years. And with the exception of Yu Darvish, most of the Texas starters have struggled to be consistent and keep runs off the board.
At 20-21, the club still has a shot at the postseason. However, there will be no October baseball in Arlington if Daniels can’t string together a solid pitching foundation. There isn’t much to offer, considering past deals have eradicated much of the MLB-ready talent in the organization.
There are some deals that still could be made. It will be up to the GM to decide just how far he is willing to go to keep this team contending for the playoffs.
Deal for RHP Jeff Samardzija
Chicago Cubs get: OF Engel Beltre, RHP Sam Wolff, SS Luis Sardinas
Texas Rangers get: RHP Jeff Samardzija
Both Daniels and Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein aren’t afraid to deal, and this is something that could work for both clubs.
Obviously, the Rangers need starting pitching, and Jeff Samardzija is off to a hot start this season. He has yet to record a win but has a 1.45 ERA in eight starts in his third season as a full-time starter. The 29-year-old could fall in behind Yu Darvish and would be under contract until the end of 2015.
Engel Beltre is recovering from a broken tibia and is expected back in June. The outfield is crowded in Arlington, and Beltre is good enough to warrant a roster spot with a big league club. Plus, he provides speed and is solid defensively in center field.
Sam Wolff has been creeping up as one of the Rangers' best prospects and could end up as a front-end starter. He is currently 4-3 with a 3.10 ERA at High-A Myrtle Beach, and opposing hitters are hitting just .201 off the right-hander.
Luis Sardinas finishes the deal as one of the top middle infielders in the minors. He doesn’t have any power at the plate but puts the ball in play and is great on the basepaths. He is a solid defender and will struggle finding somewhere to play with the Rangers. He could jump right in at second base in 2015 if the Cubs decide not to bring back Emilio Bonifacio.
Deal for RHP Huston Street
San Diego Padres get: 1B Mitch Moreland, OF Kensuke Tanaka or OF Jake Smolinski
Texas Rangers get: RHP Huston Street
The Padres have a solid pitching staff but are in dire need of offense.
The bullpen has been an issue for the Rangers, as they've posted a combined 5.79 ERA that is better than just five other MLB teams. While Joakim Soria hasn’t been bad as the closer, Huston Street would be an upgrade and allow Soria to be the eighth-inning reliever.
Mitch Moreland hasn’t showcased the same power he did last season when he hit a career-high 23 homers. However, he does have a .295 batting average in a platoon role as the DH. Moving to San Diego won’t exactly increase his slugging, but he would be an improvement as an offensive first baseman.
Kensuke Tanaka and Jake Smolinski are both MLB-ready outfielders who can also fill in at multiple spots in the infield. With Seth Smith and Cameron Maybin playing well for the Padres, the club could fill them in elsewhere, especially at second base where Jedd Gyorko is hitting a lowly .161 this season.
Deal for LHP David Price
Tampa Bay Rays get: 2B Rougned Odor, other prospects
Texas Rangers get: LHP David Price
The Rangers are running short in prospects and will be near empty if Daniels wants to bring in David Price from the Rays.
It’s no secret how good Price is, holding a career 75-42 record and 3.24 ERA. With Perez and Harrison likely gone for the season, Price would add another left-handed arm to the rotation and provide a brilliant one-two punch with Darvish.
Acquiring the former Cy Young winner is going to come at a hefty price, however. Texas will have to part ways with at least one of its premier prospects, along with other high-ceiling players who should see the big leagues in the next two years.
And that will all depend on Jurickson Profar, who is actually ahead of schedule and could return toward the end of June. If that happens, the Rangers would have to ship out Rougned Odor and at least three other prospects.
Other players could include RHP Keone Kela, LHP Victor Payano and OF Nick Williams. Again, it would be a painful transaction, but adding Price could be the difference in the competitive AL West.