Texas Rangers: How the Rangers will use the trade market to rebuild

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 29: Delino DeShields
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 29: Delino DeShields /

The Texas Rangers have a busy winter ahead as they rebuild their team back into a winner, and the trade market may play a big role in that.

Anyone remotely familiar with the Texas Rangers knows they have much to do this offseason before this team will be considered a winner again. Coming off a season where they fell well short of expectations, big changes are inevitable. While free agency will likely be a vehicle for change, don’t rule out the trade market.

Jon Daniels, no stranger to trades, will be hard at work exploring options. But the trade options to best improve the team may not be what many people think. They may be something entirely different.

Not that kind of trade

When people think of improving a team through the trade market they often think of trading away the future to help the present. But with so few trade pieces in the minors and so many holes to fill in the majors, that side of the trade market isn’t a realistic option.

The fastest way for the Rangers to effectively rebuild the team is by selling away the present in order to acquire pieces for the future. Unless Daniels is intent on killing the Rangers with a slow bleed, there’s no way around it.

As discussed yesterday, Texas needs to bring in roughly four starting pitchers this winter. With so little in the farm remotely ready, these four pitchers will need to come from the outside. Considering the financial constraints of Texas, they are going to have to fill these spots by bargain hunting. Think Tyson Ross.

To expect the Rangers to be a postseason team in 2018 is downright delusional at this point. If the Rangers want to build a winner as soon as possible, it will involve selling off veteran pieces and bringing in on-the-cusp prospects.

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On the block

Further complicating matters is the Texas Rangers current ledger of tradeable assets. Assuming they want to hold onto their young pieces, Texas isn’t left with many valuable veterans.

Adrian Beltre headlines the list but after him there aren’t many players who are both valuable and dispensable. Cole Hamels? Various parts of the bullpen?

One might say Beltre is himself indispensable, but if we come to grips that this rebuilding effort is likely a two or even three year endeavor, Beltre’s level of dispensability is a little less polarizing.

Whether the Texas Rangers decide to part with their most beloved player or not this winter, expect to see the Rangers active on the trade market. Just don’t expect them to be the “buyers”, per se.

Next: What to do with Cole Hamels this offseason

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This winter is all about bargain hunting, Hail Mary’s, and building up prospects in the system. The Rangers will be active but not in the traditional sense. This rebuilding effort doesn’t require a full tear-down but it does require some demolition.