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Rangers At The All Star Break
I am a huge Texas Rangers Fan. So at least once a year, I post my thoughts on what the Rangers should do as an organization. I have had season tickets, pay to watch games out of area now that I have moved, so I figure I have earned the right to give my opinion.
Before the season started a person asked on Facebook how the Rangers would do this year. This was my comment:
85 and 76 and just outside wild card. Lynn and Minor have good years. Edinson Volquez and Drew Smiley have bounceback years. All between 12 and 15 wins. Leclerc is good enough to make all stars. Basically just how the A's did it last year.
Cabrera has strong year. Guzman and Gallo take steps forward.
Weak links are Odor, center, and Mazara (still nice at plate but weak in field)
Angels struggle, Mariners are terrible, A's pitching not as good this year. Rangers behind Astros.
Now here we are at the All-Star Break. Rangers are 48 and 42 sitting behind the Astros and A's. I was wrong about Smiley and Leclerc. Minor and Lynn have exceeded expectations. Volquez is a lost cause unless there is a medical miracle. Don't see resting an elbow into health but hey, I am no doctor.
Cabrera has been good in the field but he is struggled at the plate. Guzman has regressed but still a beast in the field. Gallo has exceeded expectations. Mazara has improved so much defensively. So right now I would put Mazara as a plus and Guzman as a minus.
Odor has been worse than expected. Way worse.
Jesse Chavez has been the man filling in wherever he is asked.
DeShieds is finally starting to come on so he may be a plus.
Logan Forsyth and Danny Santana have been major upgrades on the bench and frankley are sitting too much.
So what happens now?
What should be the plan going forward?
Find a catcher good defensive catcher (top 10 in the league or better) who can provide a little offense. That should be the #1 starting point for any trade the Rangers make.
Get Gallo out of center and start working toward a very expensive contract. He has improved consistently and is now coming into his own.
Get Elvis to move to 3rd. He is no longer an average shortstop in the field.
Trade assets for players the Rangers need who are blocked in other organizations So find good players in AAA or AA that the organization has no room for in the near future. Those should be the trade targets.
Choo makes $21M this year and $21M next but if someone in a pennant race will take that contract for a lower level (AA to A player) Texas should send him. They should NOT take on any of Choo’s salary. If the Rangers pay Choo, they should keep Choo.
I am very down on Odor. The problem is he had one glimmer of a good year and the Rangers overpaid him. Now the league has figured him out and he is dedicated to hitting home runs instead of base hits. He also tries to turn routine plays into amazing plays in the field and it costs the team. Texas has to get rid of him to get some respectability back as an organization.
Cabrera is valuable to a team as insurance policy if there is an injury to a player on a team but that would merit a very low level player in return.
I actually believe in Guzman, he is so lanky and he came up too soon. Send him to Nashville for the rest of the year and Santana or Forsyth could cover first for the rest of the year. He could get more playing time and more confidence at Nashville.
That brings us to the best players for the Rangers to deal. The Rangers have two tradable assets in Pence and Mazara. They could lose either or both and still not be sacrificing much future. Mazara is still under control for two arbitration years. Pence is a 1 year deal. Getting more for Mazara (a lot more) is key.
I am also for trading Mazara and or Pence for a competitive balance or sandwich pick between the first and second round. If the Rangers use that pick to get solid College Player, then they effectively traded for a High A or AA player.
Now the Blue Chips:
Mike Minor is at the top. The Rangers HAVE to get 2 MLB ready players in return and one has to be a starting pitcher, or you do not trade Minor. He will be just as valuable in the summer as he is now unless you can get that kind of return. Minor has a year on his contract after this one. So if you are thinking of the Davish trade, Minor with one year on his contract should equal a Willie Calhoun and Walker Buehler (at AAA this time last year) type return.
Jesse Chavez is the second trade chip. Rangers have to get a top tier pitching prospect in return. He has a year left on his contract after this thus increasing his value.
I feel the Rangers have boxed themselves in. The players they need to keep to be competitive next year are the players everyone else will want (Mike Minor and Jesse Chavez). The tradable players that will bring the best return (Pence and Mazara) are not need positions for any team in the race. The players they need to get rid of (Odor, Choo, Cabrera, and maybe Forsyth) just don’t have enough value. And they don’t even seem to know they need to get rid of one (Odor).
The only way to make this year a positive year is to make good trade and good decisions in the next few months. My fingers are crossed but my faith is fading.
I am an Educator (27 years) who retired to Real Estate. After a long career coaching, teaching, working as an administrator and selling real estate in Texas, I "went coastal", moved to the Mississippi....