With 19 days until the non-waiver trade deadline, the Rangers are telling other clubs that they plan to hold, at the very least, and may yet act as buyers on the trade market, Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports (on Twitter). The Rangers, of course, are all but finished in the American League West as the Astros run away with the division. However, despite a 43-45 record, Texas is just three games back in the American League Wild Card race. Morosi notes that the defending AL West champs open the season’s second half with a 10-game road trip that will likely prove pivotal in the Rangers’ determination of a course of action prior to the deadline.
More trade talk from around the game…
- The Rockies are eyeing relief help as the deadline approaches, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes in his latest mailbag column. One name that Saunders has heard connected to the Rox is Marlins closer AJ Ramos. The Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer reported recently that the Fish are scouting a number of rival farm systems in preparation to trade some veteran assets before the deadline, specifically naming the Rockies as a system of interest. It seems unlikely that Ramos would usurp Greg Holland as manager Bud Black’s closer, but he’d give the Rox an arm with huge strikeout potential that can be controlled through next season. And, with Holland all but certain to turn down his player option (barring an injury), Ramos would give the Rockies an option in the ninth inning in 2018. Ramos is earning $6.55MM this year and is controllable for one more season via arbitration.
- Morosi also reports that the Mariners would like to add some pitching at this year’s trade deadline, but they’re not keen on adding any rentals (Twitter links). Seattle finished the first half poorly, and the notion of sacrificing prospects for a two-month rental and a chance at a one-game playoff is off-putting to the majority of teams around the league. Even if the Mariners’ slide continues, Morosi adds that the team has no plans to move slugger Nelson Cruz, who even at 37 years of age continues to be among the game’s most productive bats. Cruz is hitting .292/.372/.520 and is earning $14.25MM this year and next — the final two seasons of a four-year, $57MM pact inked prior to the 2015 campaign.
- The Athletics have made it known to other teams that first baseman Yonder Alonso is available in trades “right now,” writes ESPN’s Buster Olney. Alonso’s availability isn’t exactly a new development, as he’s been among the most oft-speculated and reported trade candidates for most of the season’s first half. However, the A’s and Alonso’s camp were also said to be exploring talk of a possible extension. While Olney doesn’t mention the extension possibility one way or another, his newest report certainly doesn’t do much to inspire confidence that the two sides will agree to a deal. In addition to the oft-suggested Yankees fit, Olney speculatively lists the Royals as a possibility.
- The Cardinals are still looking into adding a middle-of-the-order bat and will continue to do so up through the deadline, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote in a recent chat with readers. The Cards expect that type of pursuit to perhaps run right up to the deadline, however. Goold notes that he’s been told recently that St. Louis isn’t keen on adding rental bats (e.g. J.D. Martinez) but could rethink that mentality and take a late shot at a rental if their pursuits of longer-term assets don’t prove fruitful over the next couple of weeks.