As they begin to consider their possible approaches to the trade deadline, the Rangers are “evaluating controllable starters,” according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter). The organization also has some rather immediate concerns in the pitching staff with little in the way of obvious solutions, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes.
Despite a rather surprising 35-30 start to the year, the Rangers have little but questions in their rotation behind Mike Minor and Lance Lynn. Both of those hurlers could ultimately end up on the block come late July if the team can’t keep pace, which still seems a distinct possibility.
For now, the front office is preparing for both buy and sell possibilities, according to Morosi. That largely states the obvious. It’s also imaginable that the Texas organization will ultimately largely hold pat, or perhaps engage in only a limited buy-side approach. While they canvass the market for possibilities, the Rangers will surely continue to evaluate their roster to see how much staying power it may have.
It’s all but unimaginable that the Rangers will ultimately adopt any sort of extreme approach to the deadline. There really isn’t much hope of chasing down the Astros in the division. While a Wild Card would be quite appealing, particularly with a new park slated to be opened, the Rangers won’t give up too much future value for immediate improvements.
Given all that, the “controllable starters” concept makes some sense on paper. It’s also true that most every other contender will have interest in the same types of pitchers, so there’ll be ample competition. But the Rangers could look for opportunities not only to improve now, but also to get a jump on preparing for 2020 and beyond. GM Jon Daniels has already begun thinking about how the roster can be improved in the coming offseason.
Typically, we thinking of younger, arbitration-eligible pitchers with the term “controllable.” The Rangers may or may not have much success fishing in those waters. It’ll be interesting to see if they also look into some older, more expensive hurlers that won’t come with big prospect price tags. Mike Leake of the Mariners and the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija are among the hypothetical possibilities in this general bucket.