The 2014 season for the Texas Rangers is all but lost. We trail the Oakland Athletics by a lengthy margin, along with the rest of the division, and the difference seems to grow every night. So, the question is, do we consent the rest of this season and look forward to next year or do they continue to play mediocre baseball to the detriment of the future?
This season isn’t entirely their fault. In fact, I’d go as far as saying this season isn’t their fault at all. The front office and team should get a pass on the lackluster season. They’ve had to deal with more injuries than any other team and they’ve had to deal with them at pivotal positions. Prince Fielder, Jurickson Profar, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison, Geovany Soto have all spent significant time out and a few of them will miss the entire season, the two former, the player Ian Kinsler was traded for and the youngster that was supposed to fill his shoes. So, as many have suggested, I believe it is time the Rangers begin to look to the future.
There are a couple of ways they can start building the organization. One is through trades and acquisitions and the other is through late season call-ups. The latter will have to wait so the young prospect’s MLB clocks don’t start, but the sooner you trade the big name players the more they should demand. On the block the Rangers can offer Alex Rios, Joakim Soria, and a slew of others that should return a nice collection of prospects.
The Rangers have been buyers at the trade deadline the last several years so it will be nice to restock the farm system. The Rangers already sport one of the deepest and most talent rich collections of youngsters in the entire league, but you can never have too many talented prospects. These prospects may never become big league players, but with prospects the power is in the numbers. They can also be used as trade bait in the future to bring a talented player in to add to the roster that may put the Rangers over the top down the road.
As far as prospect call-ups go it gives the coaching staff a good look at what they can do under the pressure of a big league atmosphere. Ron Washington has no doubt liked what he has seen in Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas. Which brings up a sticky situation as to whom should be the Rangers’ second baseman next year, but that’s an entirely different situation.
The Rangers will have the opportunity to call-up worthy players from the minors who have proven they can have what it takes to hang in AA or AAA or whatever the level they are at is, but your guess is as good as mine. I’d like to see Joey Gallo get a crack at big league pitching so he can begin the adjustment period that comes with making the jump to the majors. We will get called up permanently quicker than some may think and he will have his struggles so getting him adjusted sooner rather than later would be advantageous to the Rangers’ future.
There are many others the Rangers will look to call-up and they will no doubt begin to restock the system. The only question is when. Will they wait until the trade deadline or call it quits sooner than they have in years? Expect the dominoes to fall after the first move.