Rangers GM Jon Daniels offered a balanced take on his organization’s planning for the 2019 trade deadline, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was among those to report. There’s a full transcript available at the link, but we’ll cover a few highlights.
Daniels emphasized that the club’s pleasant surprise isn’t just good fortune. Quality play has led to a surprising 36-30 record. At the same time, the organization remains realistic about its near-term prospects and hasn’t seen anything that substantially changes its high-level strategy.
The Rangers entered the year with the viewpoint that it did not want “to place limits on the club,” Daniels says, rejecting the idea of an all-in/all-out dichotomy. It still plans to “stay true to our mind-set of trying to balance, continue to place a priority on the next few years.”
At the same time, Daniels says he’ll “be open-minded to the way the club’s played and respect that.” He will be looking for opportunities over the coming weeks, though the broader vision also certainly shapes the still-developing approach.
When asked about the possibility of shipping out prospects to improve the immediate roster, Daniels responded: “Most likely if we were to do that it would be for someone with control beyond next year.”
That’s not really a new approach, Daniels emphasized. When asked about the concept of pursuing controllable starting pitching, Daniels said that’s something the club “explored … this winter” already. Continuing to do so seems natural given that the team is performing above expectations.
So, what will drive the decisionmaking? It seems Daniels plans to serve the organization’s overarching vision rather than reacting too strongly to the in-season developments. While the Texas GM acknowledged that it’s necessary to “factor” in the likelihood of competing in the division versus only challenging for a Wild Card, that won’t drive the bus. “There’s value in giving the team an opportunity,” he explained.
Daniels says that the next month of play likely won’t substantially change the club’s approach. “Listen, overall we know which direction we’re going in,” he said. “… We have a pretty good sense of where we want to go over the next few years.”
While it’s tough to divine much from these comments, it seems fair to presume that the Rangers won’t be heavy in the rental market barring a truly stunning turn of events in the next six weeks. But the organization’s intended competitiveness in the next several seasons will certainly require outside additions, especially in the pitching department. It stands to reason that opportunities of that ilk will hold appeal — with the Rangers seeing at least some added value in boosting the 2019 outlook.