Let me apologize in advance for being an optimistic jerk. I’m well aware that is it’s only proper to allow a respectably lengthed mourning period after getting pimp-slapped by Murphy’s Law. But with the added news of losing Prince Fielder for the season, someone has to stop the bleeding.
Most can accept by now that the Rangers will probably not be postseason contenders. There is a lot of season left and anything can happen but let’s face it – these are long odds. When virtually all of your starting pitchers are injured, and you lack the explosive offense to compensate, it doesn’t look good.
The Rangers have been blessed in recent seasons to be considered legitimate contenders down the stretch. They often responded as most contenders do – they made trades. These trades were made to improve the team for the short term at the expense of the long term. There is nothing wrong with that strategy either. That’s one of the reasons a team keeps a strong farm system; to develop for the long term roster and to trade for the short term roster.
Lately the Rangers have been almost exclusively looking for short term help and slowly depleting the farm system. It’s still one of the best in the league, but it’s hard not to notice the traded players making differences elsewhere around the league. Sometimes “selling” can actually be more exciting than buying at the deadline.
With the season in the figurative toilet, the Rangers may finally be sellers again. Years ago, some of the most defining moves these Texas Rangers made were by selling at the deadline. With young pitching specifically, the Rangers seem to have some great talent developing in the system. Unfortunately most of it is still years away from really making a difference. This is an area the Rangers could address.
If the Rangers sold proven players now (or at the deadline) they would essentially be signaling the white flag. But those trades could be used to acquire prospects who are on the verge of contributing in the Majors. This would better position the Rangers in 2015 and years beyond.
Maybe you still think the Rangers have a realistic chance, and what I’m saying is blasphemy when said so early in the season. Maybe you’re right. The Rangers have plenty of time to figure it out too. Players like Joakim Soria, Alex Rios, Alexi Ogando, and even Adrian Beltre, could fetch quite the return. It’s never fun giving up and purging of quality players. But it may be the Rangers’ best interests.