How to Interpret the Texas Rangers Trade Deadline

Willie Calhoun #55 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
Willie Calhoun #55 of the Texas Rangers (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images) /

The Texas Rangers reached back and threw a 12-6 curveball at fans July 31st – here’s how you should catch it.

If you’re like me, Wednesday’s MLB Trade Deadline probably had you glued to your phones. I spent the entire day hyped up on red-alert, knowing that at a moments notice, game-breaking, playoff shifting transactions could rock the league. As the clock ticked away Wednesday afternoon, I manically spammed the refresh button on my Twitter, looking for that one ‘Texas Rangers’ headline that could transform the organization.

Needless to say, it never came.

The Rangers mostly stood pat on July 31st, the lone exception being a trade for White Sox RP Nate Jones, who was only acquired to sign top international prospect Bayron Lora with bonus money. With serious speculation centered around players like Mike Minor, Nomar Mazara and Danny Santana, you would initially think a “selling” team was destined to take advantage of several aggressive suitors and fetch premium talent.

The Texas Rangers didn’t play by the rules, and here’s what that means.

The returns simply weren’t there.

While Ranger fans were inevitably left disappointed after an anticlimactic deadline had passed, it’s irrational to believe Jon Daniels didn’t tirelessly prepare for the day. When trying to examine the team’s potential market, it’s important to recognize the impact the Marcus Stroman trade left upon baseball a few days prior. After joining the New York Mets for a sub par return, the league’s finest were now valued at an all-time low, unquestionably hindering the Texas Rangers and their ability to sell off assets.

Even if the phones were ringing off the hook on July 31st, what difference does it make when JD is left staring at several lousy proposals? Should he be so eager to sell off assets, the organization regresses as a whole?

No – the Texas Rangers didn’t succumb to deadline pressure and unload at discounted rates. Although it feels as nothing was really accomplished, JD could have performed much worse.

The Texas Rangers want to be more competitive next year.

Another reason Texas didn’t forcibly take part in any jaw-dropping trade this summer lies a mere shouting distance from Globe Life Park.

As everyone knows, 2020 will mark the grand opening of Globe Life Field, and you better believe JD wants to put on a show for its unveil. There’s a solid argument to be made that the team wasn’t overly disappointed to keep rising stars such as Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, and Danny Santana around the clubhouse. Sending players like these packing could’ve ultimately fetched the ballclub a shiny new prospect or two, but the team would essentially be giving up on next year if they stripped the roster any further.

It’s worth noting the Texas Rangers were briefly considered an AL wild-card team a month-and-a-half ago. Although their season has drastically altered course, the team figures to undergo another year of development, and hope to be more competitive in 2020.

Keeping some star power lying around for the new stadium may not prove such a bad thing.

The organizational rebuild is coming along nicely.

Speaking of development, I thought the Texas Rangers showed a lot of belief in their current farm system by not budging. The fact that JD didn’t jump at a prime opportunity to inject talent within the team’s lower levels may prove just how confident Texas is in their top prospects.

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It’s not hard to see why. With players such as Brock Burke, Joe Palumbo, Sam Huff, Leody Tavares, and Nick Solak taking huge minor league strides this year, the Texas Rangers look poised to again compete for the AL West in the not-too-distant future. By not forcibly adding more depth throughout the pipeline, the Texas Rangers sent the league a clear message: they like where they stand from a talent prospective enough to not sell out for more

Get ready for an epic winter.

Most importantly, the Texas Rangers staying quiet at the trade deadline should point to a massive offseason. The 2020 FA class promises to excite, as budding stars such as Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler, Anthony Rendon, and maybe even Stephen Strasburg look to find new homes over the winter. With the talent they kept on July 31st, JD should have his first crack at constructing a winning roster during the rebuild.

With a new stadium on the way, and many young prospects ready to make their mark on the organization, expect JD to swing for the fences.

Instead of conventionally selling, circumstances led the Texas Rangers to break the mold. Time will ultimately tell, as always, if the unexpected curveball JD threw fans will land in the strike zone or bounce to the plate.

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All we can do now is catch it.

  • Published on 08/03/2019 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 08/03/2019 at 07:44 AM