Duane Burleson/Associated Press
Boston Red Sox Get: RF Alex Rios
Texas Rangers Get: SP Anthony Ranaudo, 3B Will Middlebrooks and a player to be named later
The idea that the Texas Rangers should begin selling pieces isn’t unrealistic.
As ESPN.com’s Buster Olney wrote (subscription required to read full article):
This organization, which has been in win-now mode for the past six seasons, twice made it to the World Series and came within one strike of winning a championship, could use this time to have a makeover, to gain more payroll flexibility, to add some young talent. The Rangers can find an opportunity in their misfortune, because they're in a position to send out a mass email to the other major league teams and inform them that they are open for trade offers.
One of the players Olney mentioned is Alex Rios, who would be a fine fit with the Boston Red Sox.
And make no mistake, manager John Farrell’s squad needs the type of stability Rios will provide in right field. Shane Victorino, who just went on the 15-day disabled list, is serviceable when healthy, but the Carmines need legitimacy and bats if they hope to make it to the postseason.
Rios is on a tear this season, too. In 50 games going into action on Memorial Day, he had a .316/.346/.469 slash line with 11 doubles, five triples, 22 runs scored and 29 RBI. Simply put, he's raking it and would give a big lift to a stagnant offense in Boston.
In return for Rios, the Rangers would get Triple-A starting pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, Will Middlebrooks and a player to be named later.
Middlebrooks is on the outside looking in after being given every chance at third base. Perhaps a change of scenery will allow him to grow into the franchise third baseman many hoped he would be as he advanced through the minor leagues. And with the uncertain future of Adrian Beltre, he could prove to be a great pickup.
As far as Ranaudo is concerned, he has some control issues, but he also has the ability to turn into “a No. 2 or 3 starter,” according to the scouting report from MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo.
Adding the Red Sox’s No. 8 prospect would give the Rangers a starting rotation that included Yu Darvish, Martin Perez (assuming he is completely recovered from Tommy John surgery), Nick Martinez and Ranaudo next year. In other words, manager Ron Washington would have a rotation fully capable of complementing the offense.
One last thing to consider here is that Rios has a $13.5 million team option for next season. That means he wouldn’t necessarily be a rental and may have long-term value for the Red Sox.