2011 MLB Trade Rumors: Texas Rangers Chris Davis' to Tampa Bay Rays?

Daniel LewigCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2011

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 11:  Infielder Chris Davis #19 of the Texas Rangers during the spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds at Surprise Stadium on March 11, 2011 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

This just in: Texas Rangers first base prospect Chris Davis is having an excellent spring.

Davis hit his third home run and ninth extra base hit in just 36 at bats against the Rockies on Wednesday. 

On a daily basis, Davis has been turning heads with his play. The formerly-touted first basemen of the future is showing exactly what Texas has hoped out of its 24-year-old slugger.

There's just one problem: There's no room for him with the big league club.

The Rangers are committed to Mitch Moreland as the first baseman they are developing on the big league club. The Rangers also have Mike Napoli, who will see some time at first, along with Michael Young.

Look, there's no guarantee the Rangers will trade Davis.

There's no guarantee that Davis won't suffer with strikeout problems that have caused him to get sent back to the minors last year and slide down the prospect totem pole.

But the Rangers may use their depth and Davis's hot spring to made a trade that helps the club.

Enter the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays say they are committed to giving Dan Johnson every opportunity to win the full-time job at first base, replacing Carlos Pena. With everything Johnson has done in small doses and his ability to hit well against New York and Boston, it may very well be the right thing to do. 

But this would be a very opportunistic move for the Rays.

Johnson isn't the long-term answer at first. Davis very well could be.

If the Rays parted with a pitching prospect like Nick Barnese, who often gets overlooked because of the depth of the Rays pitching prospects, that would probably be a fair amount for a guy like Davis.

But as has been said, the Rangers may not move him. 

Recent history would show them why they shouldn't move him. The Rangers dealt with this problem just a few seasons ago. They had an outfielder who was labeled as a AAAA player because he was struggling to put it all together on a big league level. 

They thought about trading him and moving on.

That outfielder was Nelson Cruz.

The difference is the Rangers didn't have as much of a depth problem as they do now. If they decide to trade, look for the Rays to be a likely candidate to be involved in the talks.