As Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News explores, a rough first half of the season for the Rangers was not without its implications for the future. Unfortunately, for every positive turn (the recent improvements of Rougned Odor, say), there has been a less-encouraging development (Joey Gallo’s fall-off, for instance). Most disappointing of all, perhaps, is the fact that the club likely won’t be able to reap much of a return for its veteran assets at the deadline. As Grant notes, key potential chips like Cole Hamels and Adrian Beltre really aren’t performing as might have been hoped, while many of the team’s pending free agents haven’t really played their way into useful trade assets.
Here’s more out of Arlington …
- MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes that the Texas organization will be doing everything it can to acquire young, upper-level starting pitching at the deadline. Given the less-than-ideal crop of trade pieces, though, that seems like a tall order unless the team is willing to part with controllable talent. Closer Keone Kela is perhaps the team’s best reasonably available trade chip; he’s turning in quality work from the closer’s role and comes with three more seasons of control. Even if he’s made available, though, prying loose top-end young rotation pieces promises to be challenging.
- Meanwhile, GM Jon Daniels discussed his team’s situation heading out of the All-Star break with Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. There aren’t any truly untouchable players, Daniels said, though unsurprisingly he also noted that certain players “are a lot less likely to be talked about than others.” One name that figures to come up, of course, is Beltre. While Daniels indicated that he’s willing to listen to expressions of interest, he said the team will “have to be motivated to even have the conversation” due to the fact that Beltre’s “value to the organization is above how you typically view it.” This special situation — Daniels said the team views Beltre “as separate than most typical trade conversations,” and the vet has no-trade rights — will be interesting to watch. The future Hall-of-Famer certainly hasn’t been at his best in 2018, and isn’t cheap or youthful, but he will likely be in at least some demand given his lengthy track record and impeccable reputation.
- Daniels also addressed a few other matters, though of course you’ll need to read the entire piece to get the full scope. He cited a few younger players that have impressed in certain regards, including center fielder Delino DeShields, utilityman Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and first baseman Ronald Guzman. None of those players has really established himself as a future regular, though all seem to have places on the MLB roster moving forward. Daniels also suggested the team will be watching closely in the second half to decide whether to pick up its second-to-last option over southpaw Martin Perez, who’ll either be paid $7.5MM or cut loose with a $1MM parting gift. Perez turned in five middling starts before hitting the DL, but did show much better form in his first outing back just before the All-Star break.