The Rangers added three prospects before this week by trading reliever Jason Frasor and Closer Joakim Soria, but held on to Alex Rios and others. The deadline marks the period when teams can trade freely amongst themselves. If they wish to trade a player from here on out it will have to be done through the waiver wire.
The Biggest acquisitions were the two pitchers that came over in the Soria deal with the Tigers. They collected a potential starter in Jake Thompson and a potential closer in Cory Knebel. In the most recent update of the Texas Rangers’ minor league system these two are ranked sixth and seventh, respectively. That’s a fantastic haul for Joakim Soria. The rest of this season will be Neftali Feliz’ opportunity to reclaim the position he owned for both World Series appearances.
The trade helped the Rangers restock their system after depleting it the last few years at the deadline. So, even if we never see these players play for the Texas Rangers it doesn’t make the trade a failure. They could each be used in the offseason or at next year’s deadline in another trade to bring an experienced player to Arlington. I am a bit surprised that Alex Rios is still a Ranger though. I expected there to be suitors for the speedy right fielder. His power numbers are down, but he is still a viable bat in the middle of any lineup. Do not be surprised to see him moved if a playoff team experiences an injury or some other set back with a starting outfielder, such as Nelson Cruz’ suspension that, ultimately, landed Rios in Arlington.
The Rangers’ season is over, but for the rest of the AL West, with the exception of the Astros, the playoffs are still very much in sight. The A’s have the best record in baseball and the Angels and Mariners are in the hunt.
For the last couple seasons the Rangers biggest competition in the west has been the Athletics. The small market team out of Oakland uses their “Moneyball” to find players at bargain prices and put together a competitive team, or so they say. I believe players end up in Oakland and for one reason or another become better ball players. Then they go elsewhere and fall back to their mediocre ways. This is simply a Ranger fan making sense of their superiority by the way.
Whatever the case, the A’s and Billy Beane are “all in” as they say. Recently they traded Addison Russell, their best prospect and one of the best in all of baseball, to the Chicago Cubs for the ace of their staff, Jeff Samardzija. Then, Thursday, they traded Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for another rotation ace, Jon Lester. Samardzija is under contract through next year and Lester becomes a free agent after this season. So they traded a potential cornerstone player and the face of the franchise for a shot at a title. With the Rangers out of the race I hope they win it all. Just remember when you hear the name Addison Russell he was supposed to be an Athletic and could be wrecking havoc on the Rangers for many years.
The Athletics are now the overwhelming favorite, if there is such a thing in baseball, to win the American League Championship. Unless some team catches fire and can somehow defeat Kazmir, Samardzija, Lester, and Gray more often than not, which I have a tough time believing, then you should see Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill’s squad in the Fall Classic. Do us all a favor Oakland, win your championship and fall back into mediocrity so we can win ours.