This trade is a game changer for the Rangers. After suffering injury after injury to their starting rotation the Rangers found themselves slipping further down the standings. They could no longer patiently wait for Colby Lewis, Alexi Ogando, or Matt Harrison to get back. By the time they did, it might have been too late.
The Texas Rangers were good but not great. They no longer have the dynamic offence we have grown accustomed to. It’s now all about defense. Their pitching which was once a strength had become a weakness. Plain and simple: They needed to do this.
Matt Garza has been on fire as of late. In his last 6 starts he’s 5-0 with a 1.24 ERA. He is a proven winner in big game situations and should thrive for the Rangers in the regular season and the playoffs.
The Playoff rotation just got a whole lot better. Darvish is #1 with Garza and Holland at 2 and 3. The fourth starter will be decided the second half of the season. If Harrison can get back to the team in time to reestablish himself he would be the obvious choice, but don’t rule out Colby Lewis or Martin Perez either. Ogando will probably be best suited in the bullpen once the playoffs begin but he will also be given an opportunity to win the fourth playoff starting pitching spot.
With adding to the top of the rotation the Rangers now have options when players return from the DL. That has to make us all breathe a little easier. If Nelson Cruz can avoid suspension the Rangers could very well be considered the top team in the AL. Regardless of the Cruz situation, they were slipping from the playoff discussion before the trade, and now they are back in it.
The obvious downside to this is what the Rangers gave in return. Matt Garza is a rental player and will be a free agent after the season. The Rangers plan to make every effort to resign him but so does the rest of MLB. He may resign but the odds are stacked against it. This trade was about THIS season.
The Rangers were forced to part with some very good prospects and if they don’t do well in the postseason those prospects may come back to haunt Jon Daniels. 3B Mike Olt projects as a potential All-Star 3rd basemen. He was having vision problems this season after a pretty serious concussion suffered in the WBC. He isn’t a sure thing but his ceiling is high. The Rangers also traded RHP C.J. Edwards. Edwards has even better potential and was the top target for the Cubs. Justin Grimm and a possible player to be named later were also part of this game-changing deal.
As you can see this is not without cost. These prospects could have been with the Rangers for the next 5+ years. They have vast potential and could be cornerstones to any young team. But the Rangers want to win now. They build their farm system for this very reason – to make the team better. Hopefully the Rangers will be able to keep Garza beyond this season but either way, this trade is about NOW. The Rangers are back on track and a force to be reckoned with.
They made a big-time trade and are not only back in the hunt, but they are back in the World Series Mix.
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