The Rangers are exploring a variety of possible routes at the upcoming July trade deadline, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. They will approach the deadline neither as traditional buyers nor as traditional sellers, and will instead focus on players capable of helping both now and next season, GM Jon Daniels tells Wilson.
“Most of the players we’ve talked about acquiring are multi-year fits, most but not all,” says Daniels. “From an acquisition standpoint, it’s almost more of guys that could fit now but also could fit into a likely off-season plan.”
Nonetheless, the Rangers aren’t yet ready to give up on their season. “We’re realistic about where we are, but we still believe in the team. We’ve got a run in us,” Daniels says.
One player who could fit into the Rangers’ current plans is Cole Hamels, who would help the rotation in 2016, when Yovani Gallardo and Colby Lewis might be gone due to free agency. Wilson suggests, though, that in order for there to be a trade, the Phillies would have to cover a significant chunk of the remainder of Hamels’ contract and would have to accept a return that does not include top young players Joey Gallo or Nomar Mazara. The Rangers could also target Padres starters James Shields and Andrew Cashner as pitchers who could help the team beyond 2015.
Perhaps such moves are unlikely, however. “There’s also a chance we’re boring and don’t do much,” Daniels says. Daniels also notes that the Rangers aren’t close to trading Gallardo despite his impending free agency.
Much remains up in the air, though, and the Rangers’ performance in the coming days could help shape their strategy. The Rangers are 46-49 and well back of both the Angels and Astros in the AL West. They’re 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second AL Wild Card spot. If the Rangers were to lose additional ground in the coming days, that might point them in the direction of trading Gallardo in particular.
Trading Gallardo could be tricky, however, for reasons that go beyond the standings. As FanGraphs’ Dave Cameron wrote yesterday, there’s a high number of starting pitchers potentially available this week. The qualifying also offer creates a potential disincentive to selling. It’s unclear whether the Rangers would extend Gallardo a qualifying offer if they kept him — as Cameron suggests, it’s probably a close call. If they did, though, it could potentially help them patch their rotation for next season.