4 Reasons Texas Rangers Should Stand Pat in Trade Market
The series against the Tigers began with news that Prince Fielder was going to have surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. He is one of 13 players Texas has on the disabled list and is the fourth to sit out the rest of the season.
Jurickson Profar, the highly touted prospect who finally got an everyday job, is also considered to be out for the season as of May 22.
Considering all the players on the disabled list and those who won’t be returning this year, the Rangers should refrain from making any trades this season.
The only scenario the Rangers should be thinking about is if the club begins to tank. In that case, general manager Jon Daniels should only field calls that will improve the team’s farm system.
If not, there are four reasons why Texas needs to stay in the shadows until the offseason.
Obviously, the Disabled List
At this rate, the Rangers could start an expansion club with all of the players on the disabled list.
Texas has 13 DL-listed players plus two others who are listed as day to day. It is by far the largest amount of casualties for any team, with the San Diego Padres having seven players on the DL plus one listed as day to day.
When you look at the Rangers players on the DL, many are impact players or were having great campaigns.
Fielder wasn’t the same power threat but was still reaching base and starting to find a groove at the plate. Martin Perez and Matt Harrison were both throwing fairly well, but their production began to decline prior to their required surgeries. Pedro Figueroa gave up an earned run in just one of his 10 appearances and was starting to become a solid lefty in the bullpen.
The club simply doesn’t have any chips to throw into the mix—not just at the major league level, but in the farm system, too. Trades for guys such as Matt Garza and Cliff Lee over the past four years have sent off eight players. Only two of them have yet to play in the majors, and the three players the Rangers received are no longer in Arlington.
It may be a matter of time before the club begins to struggle, or maybe it will contend. Whatever happens, it should be with the players who are currently on the roster.
Players Soon to Be Activated
Although four or five players will fail to play another game this season, others who have yet to make an appearance in 2014 are not far away from hitting the roster.
The earliest of those guys are Jim Adduci, Tanner Scheppers and Derek Holland. Adduci was on a tear as a late-game pinch hitter in April before fracturing his left pinkie finger. He will be welcomed back as an extra left-handed bat who can play the corner outfield spots and first base.
Scheppers will return to the bullpen once activated from the DL, somewhere he should have stayed in the first place. His short stint in the rotation resulted in a 9.82 ERA in 18.1 innings, and opponents were hitting .338 off him. The 27-year-old has good stuff, just not the kind of stuff that can run through a lineup two or three times.
Holland is expected to return to the rotation toward the end of June. He threw a bullpen session on May 25 and a three-inning simulated game 10 days prior. He has been a workhorse for the club since becoming a full-time starter in 2011.
The rest of the riddled lineup is expected to return around the All-Star break. Those players include Engel Beltre, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Joe Ortiz and Geovany Soto.
Depending on where the club stands at the break, Texas will be adding extra depth and have more options for both hitting and pitching.
Exposure for Young Guys
If the Rangers do begin to slide to the bottom of the AL West, it gives them a chance to look at their prospects in the big leagues.
They are already getting a glimpse of young stud Rougned Odor, who is hitting .298 in 47 at-bats since arriving in Arlington. Texas also has Luis Sardinas on the roster, who is the second-youngest player in MLB behind Odor.
Nick Martinez is also proving to be an asset as a starter and a reliever. The 23-year-old righty has a 2.14 ERA in nine appearances, four of which are starts. With Harrison and Perez out for the season, Martinez is going to get a shot at a full-time rotation spot.
There is still a good possibility of a Luke Jackson sighting this season. The 22-year-old is in his first full season at Double-A Frisco and holds a 2.78 ERA and 0.945 WHIP in 55 innings. He would be a good option in the rotation or the bullpen with a fastball that touches 98 mph.
It is a good opportunity to see which guys are ready for The Show. The organization is seeing that in Odor and Martinez and could see it with others given the opportunity.
Manager Ron Washington should be a front-runner for Manager of the Year at this point.
No other manager has dealt with a roster so perforated with injuries over the last two seasons than Washington. However, he somehow found a way to keep the club in the chase for October in 2013 and has an even record this season.
There is no need to start wheeling and dealing to help the eight-year manager because he isn’t going anywhere.
Washington has the two youngest players in baseball on his roster, one of which is playing everyday. Michael Choice is also playing his first full season in the big leagues, along with Robinson Chirinos. Up until early May, Washington had to platoon two career journeymen at second base.
His new starting catcher only has 148 MLB games under his belt in 10 years and has already had 10 different pitchers start a game. Somehow, the Rangers are only 5.5 games back of the A’s and are in the top half of the American League in terms of winning percentage.
It isn’t time to throw in the towel because crazier things have happened.
All injury information obtained from MLB.com and can be found here.
You can follow Trey on Twitter @treydwarren.