Reports yesterday from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News indicated that Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara was drawing interest from rival teams. Grant mentioned that Mazara was getting looks from teams who weren’t necessarily contenders this season but were looking to contend in 2020, and today Grant specified that the Padres and White Sox were two of the clubs scouting Mazara.
San Diego is something of an odd fit for Mazara on paper, as the Padres already have multiple corner outfield options on hand. Franmil Reyes and Hunter Renfroe have both performed very well this season, the struggling Wil Myers isn’t likely to be going anywhere due to his contract, Travis Jankowski and Josh Naylor are the two primary options in the minor leagues, and Franchy Cordero could also rejoin the mix if he gets healthy.
Then again, Padres GM A.J. Preller was the Rangers’ director of international scouting when Mazara was first signed to a then-record $5MM bonus by the Rangers back in 2011. It wouldn’t at all be surprising if Preller feels a move to a new environment could help Mazara become a consistently productive big league player. It’s also possible the Padres could create some space in the outfield with some trades for pitching over the next week, as the club has been linked to a long list of starting arms over the last several months.
Chicago has Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert ticketed as their respective left and center fielders of the future, though while Leury Garcia has been a useful player, the White Sox could prefer to land a player with more upside like Mazara. Garcia has been one of several Sox players who have generated some trade interest as we approach the deadline, though Chicago isn’t considered to be too interested in moving players, as the club has their eye on contending for the AL Central in 2020. Between Jimenez’s debut, breakout performances from Lucas Giolito and Yoan Moncada, and other young talents who are on the verge of the big leagues, the Pale Hose seem to be on the verge of properly ending their rebuild. (Of course, they almost did so last winter in their push to sign Manny Machado, before losing him to the Padres.)