The Rangers are acquiring first baseman Nate Lowe from the Rays for catcher Heriberto Hernandez, infielder Osleivis Basabe and outfielder Alexander Ovalles. The Rays are sending first baseman Jake Guenther and a player to be named later to Texas along with Lowe. Tampa Bay has announced the deal.
Lowe, 25, is the only player in the deal with Major League service time, but he was unable to break into the first-string rotation with Tampa. The Rays have a plethora of options at first base and designated hitter, splitting time primarily between Ji-Man Choi and Yandy Diaz. Yoshi Tsutsugo also fits into the timeshare, while Mike Brosseau and Brandon Lowe are capable of handling the position. There simply wasn’t much room for Lowe to break into a regular role.
Ronald Guzman has kept one foot on the first base bag the last three seasons for the Rangers, but a triple slash of .230/.308/.417 leaves room for an upgrade. The 26-year-old has posted just 0.9 bWAR per 650 plate appearances over that time. Lowe is now in line to take over for Guzman as the Rangers’ primary first baseman, president of baseball operations Jon Daniels told TR Sullivan of MLB.com and other reporters. In 245 plate appearances in 71 games over the past two seasons, Lowe has slashed .251/.322/.447, good for a 106 wRC+. While that may not blow your hat away, conversely, Guzman owns a career 85 wRC+.
Texas fans might remember Guenther from his time at TCU. The Rays chose him in the seventh round of the 2019 draft, giving him time to get just one professional season under his belt. He raked in that time, slashing .320/.431/.423 in the Appalachian League. Despite his lack of professional time, Guenther might be closer to the big leagues than it may seem, as he’ll turn 24 years old in May.
Basabe (No. 20) and Hernandez (24) ranked among the Rangers’ top 30 prospects at MLB.com before the trade. The 20-year-old Basabe has so far topped out in Low-A ball, though he has only accrued 10 plate appearances there. MLB.com is bullish on Basabe, complimenting his contact-oriented skills at the plate and noting his “well-above-average speed” could help him turn into “a dynamic basestealer.”
Hernandez, also 20, has torn the cover off the ball between the rookie and Low-A levels since his professional career began in 2020. To this point, Hernandez has batted .320/.450/.635 with 23 home runs in 473 minor league plate appearances. FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen ranked Hernandez third in the Rangers’ system last April and argued he could “be a very special hitter,” though Longenhagen isn’t high on his defense behind the plate.
Ovalles, yet another 20-year-old, isn’t as highly regarded as Basabe or Hernandez. He does have the most experience among the three in Low-A (100 plate appearances), but Ovalles only put up a .187/.250/.319 line there in 2019.
Initial news of the trade came from MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram (via Twitter) noted the inclusion of Basabe as part of the six-player deal. Rangers’ Executive Vice President of Communications John Blake filled in the rest of the deal (via Twitter).
Chris Young called up Lil’ Jon and was told to Get Lowe!
*is banned from MLBTR*
Interesting. I like this move because since the departure of Mitch Moreland there hasn’t been a solution at first base since Gallo was moved to the outfield. In my opinion, it was a mistake letting Moreland go because he loved playing in Texas and he was producing there too. When he signed with Boston it was a 1 year deal. Hopefully, Lowe can the be solution at first base.
Walking up and down the hallway saying “Get Lowe, Get Lowe, Get Lowe”
Mark didn’t work out very well … for anyone but the 2011 Cardinals.
I’m excited about Nate, who killed the ball in the minors and has shown a high floor in his first couple of major league stints.
Yep, that’s the joke.
Greatest pun you have ever said. Be proud.
Wow, what a contemporary reference!
That song would be a college freshman if it was a person.
Go back to Tik Tok.
…looking for song in my Neild Diamond collection…..
That reference wasn’t for you. And that’s OK.
Interesting trade. GMCY sure has an idea of what he wants to do. Remaking the Rangers won’t be easy.
Winter meetings heating up
Uhm…is it really?
I thought it was a bigger trade maybe for Gallo
What? Why would the rays be getting anyone expensive?
He’s not expensive
He’s not what they need, either.
He’s arb 2 this year and arb 3 next year. Could be due over 10 million next year. That’s expensive for the Rays. Please pay attention to baseball news if you’re going to comment on things.
I thought they were going to add more prospects and get Gallo
Is the farm too fallow for Gallo?
Rangers get solid! AL needs you to be good again.
Getting ready to trade KK. All part of the plan.
Well there goes our chance of three “Lowe’s” in the lineup.
Decent trade, Rangers get a first baseman with 4 years of control, tb gets rid of their infield logjam
He has 6 years actually. The reference page says free agent after 2027.
yeah it does, my bad.. he doesn’t even have a year of service time haha.
him and his brother won’t get to play together 🙁
Prelude to combo deal of Odor and Guzman to Balt or Col I wonder?
Gosh, I hope so. I can’t take another year of Rougned Odor.
Nobody wants odor. They’d have to get rid of prospects to even move him
Eat the contract or take on another team’s bad contract in return. Just get rid of him.
Louis aguilar 2
Odor and Andrés are burned toast
Last time Rays and Rangers made a trade I thought they gave away Solak for free. Lesson learned, don’t judge the Rays.
that trade is still a huge win for Texas.
Idk about that. Solak stunk last season and Fairbanks has turned his nasty stuff into results.
Solak was return back to his old self. 2020 was a huge outlier from his entire professional career.
That trade was a win-win. Both teams got something they needed out of that.
lol. texas got a guy who cant play defense and mashes, sometimes, for a high leverage reliever being relied on in the late innings of the alcs and world series
Fairbanks has 26 good innings in his career (minors included). I wouldn’t pencil him into that closer role just yet.
I’m a little surprised by this one. If you ask me, Lowe was the Rays best 1B prospect and should have played much more than he did the past couple of years. Hernandez seems like a promising prospect, but he’s only 20 years old and has never been above Rookie ball, except for one game at Low A. He’s a couple of years away from the majors, so this really doesn’t help Tampa at all with their catching vacancies for the 2021 season.
It’s the Rays. I’m sure they just found a gem that everyone missed out on again.
All true, but the Rays are high on Choi and think he and N.Lowe are about the same. The reason Nate loses out to Choi is because Nate had trade value and Choi didn’t. This is a good trade for everyone, and I hope Nate has a great career in Texas.
agreed – I feel like we could have used Lowe in a trade for an MLB ready guy. Also, I feel like his ceiling was much higher than what we have in Choi and Yandy
How Lowe can they go?
I liked Hernandez, but we have a lot of depth in our system, so he won’t be too missed. I wonder how this effects Guzman? I thought they might platoon him, but both of these guys are LH…
Guzman is what he is at this point. Great glove but ehh hitting. Lowe at least has a chance to be a little more offensive when given opportunity.
This Catcher is ripping the baseball thus far. This could be a great trade down the road for the Rays. But not a bad get for the Rangers.
He won’t stay at Catcher.
Who cares. If he hits like that in the big leagues nobody will care what position he plays.
Get rid of the softball players
I thought his brother Josh would leave the organization before Nate.
Rangers have quietly been pilfering the Ray’s farm system for 2 years
I think the opposite is true with this trade homie
Hate this trade not gonna lie.
Hernandez is going to be great for y’all, trust me.
Why? Although Lowe may possibly get it together with regular playing time his bat so far hasn’t made up for his poor defense. Great swing…I hope that he does well, but 1st isn’t a position of need.
BTW, additional prospects are in the deal as well per Feinsand.
yes, but you see, the Rays are infallible so they must have won this trade.
I read the wrong Lowe at first
And the Rays win another trade.
Holy crap, the complete trade is out now. It is huge. I don’t know if I like this…
The Rangers have acquired 1B Nate Lowe, 1B Jake Guenther, and a PTBNL from Tampa Bay for INF Oselvis Basabe, C-OF Heriberto Hernandez, and OF Alexander Ovalles. Roster now at 40.
— John Blake (@RangerBlake)
Basabe and Hernandez are two good prospects to give up here. still closer to lottery ticket then blue chip, but worth keeping an eye on.
I never get too excited about or attached to 18-year-old kids. I’m sure they’re talented, but they’re too young at this point to even dream on.
I hope they do pan out for Tampa Bay. But as a Rangers fan, I’d rather have two guys in Nate Low and Guenther who could be part of the next young nucleus at the major league level.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Rangers29. Probably won’t be able to tell if this was a good trade for a few years. Seems like Rangers gave up a lot though.
I’m really liking Chris Young thus far!
It has been widely reported that Young is learning this first year. This and Lynn are both JD still.
Tampa fans, How good is Guenther?
He played at TCU for a year and posted an elite strikeout-to-walk ratio both as a college player and last year in rookie ball. He looks like he’s got advanced plate discipline for a young hitter. If he can get to Double-A and show something this year, it’s reasonable to think he’ll rise through the system quickly.
Rays fan here and I never heard of him and I follow the top prospects. If he was behind Lowe at 1st he may be another DH/1b type.
Watch Heriberto become an all star now..
Too early until we see the rest of the names, but Lowe just wasn’t going to get any time in TB. I figured he’d be gone to somebody.
Ultimately Brandon Lowe only fits at 1B, anyway; he’s basically brutal elsewhere.
Rangers are getting Nate Lowe don’t get that confused two completely different players
Are you confusing Brandon Lowe with Nate Lowe, the guy traded to the Rangers? Brandon Lowe was just awarded 2nd Team All MLB at 2B.
The real question though is, were the Blue Jays involved in any way?
No. But it made me laugh.
I Beg To Differ
Probably, but doubt the Rays would send Nate Lowe to a division rival for the next 6 years without asking for something significant back.
Good deal. Hernandez is a promising prospect at a much needed spot.
unlikely to stay at catcher
Interesting deal, thanks to the Rays and Rangers for doing something of consequence in this boring offseason.
Dang DET, why can’t we find a trade partner for a guy like Hernandez?! Go get Ruiz from LAD!
I hear Gary Sanchez is available
Honestly, I would gladly take him over dormancy. No offense to Greiner, but he’s had his opportunities; it’s time for the “next man up” philosophy. Whether that be Haase, Rogers, Pollicelli, or trade; they need to adjust. In addition to nearly every OF position, and many pitchers (Schreiber, Burrow, Funkhouser, Jimenez). Otherwise, this 5 year rebuild will self-destruct.
Fire Chris Young…. Heriberto was a future star… also really liked Basabe
chances are this trade was in the works already, just waiting on the draft perhaps for one player to get through.
As was the Lynn trade. Young is basically an AGM pre title inflation. The Rangers PoBO is still the man in charge.
Empties a slot on the rays 40 man roster to sign a free against nice
Good for Lowe and Texas. He might get a legitimate chance now to play. The kid didn’t do so bad on limited play time with the Rays. They got an overcrowded INF too with Brujan and Franco possibly making the team in 2021. That’s why they traded Lowe. The other Lowe will probably move to 1B/ or a corner OF spot.
Arozarena LF, Kiermier CF, Margot RF, Meadows DH
Adames 3B, Franco SS, Brujan 2B, Lowe 1B, Wendle Util.
The Rays are doing what they do best, allocating their resources, and plugging holes, while saving money as well, and still maintaining a competitive team on the field…..I don’t know how they manage to do it, but they do it….I though it was Friedman/Maddon but after last yr run, clearly doesn’t have anything to do with them!
LOL. That lineup will never happen. KK and Wendle probably aren’t Rays in March, while Franco and Brujan won’t be called up until July at the earliest. Even when Brujan is called up, I wouldn’t assume Brujan bumps Lowe (2nd team all MLB) off 2B. Rather, it could be Brujan who is forced to move (probably to COF where his speed plays).
That’s one hell of a defense
I really hope the PTBNL is good… only way it is worth it
If Lowe hits in the big leagues like he did in college and the high minors, this trade is well worth it. He’ll be the team’s solution at first for the foreseeable future.
that is a pretty big if…
We’ll see. He’s held his own through his first 219 major league plate appearances. And it’s not like he’s real far removed from his minor league success. He slashed 1.051 in Double-A in 2018 and .929 in Triple-A the following year.
If you track his professional career, he’s gotten better with experience at every level. There’s little reason to think that trend won’t continue in the majors.
Where will he top out? Who knows? But I feel confident he can slash at least .800 in the big leagues, which would make him the most reliable offensive first baseman the Rangers have had in quite a while.
Good pickup for Texas. Guzman has played himself out of the Rangers plans.
Glad to see N Lowe get a real chance to shine with the Rangers, I’ll be following him.. J Choi is an excellent 1st baseman and a fan favorite so Nate never got a fair chance. Seems like a win win to me since the Rays lack catcher prospects who are doing well in the minors.
Big Nate Lowe fan, thought he deserved much more playing time in TB. Hope he can break through in Tex
Should be easy to do. Guzman can’t hit to save his life
Whenever Nate Lowe played against the O’s he seemed to always be on base, great for him to finally get an opportunity at a starting job
Rangers get fleeced again. Maybe don’t deal with the Rays, they will get you every single time!
I can’t imagine being this sold on 18- and 19-year-old kids. These guys might pan out for Tampa, and good luck to them frankly. But I’m not penciling anyone into a future lineup, rotation or bullpen until they get to and prove they can handle Double-A.
Did you read the article? All three prospects going to the Rays are 20 years old
All the players traded are good hitters. EVEN and significant!
I don’t know how the rangers will regret this trade. Only that they will.
Seems like they gave up a pretty dang good prospect for basically nothing. Lowe isn’t bad, but he’s not amazing
I get Hernandez included in the deal but Basabe was a big surprise. I have had my eye on that kid since Texas got him. I have a friend in the Dominican who told me in 2018 this kid would be special. He goes to ALOT of DOSL games. Love Basabe’s versatility although it is a little misleading. I think ultimately he stays at 2B but he is capable at SS.
The deal fits needs for both teams.
Seems like a very nice haul for the Rays in exchange for an expendable player. They’re giving up 5 years of 1 cheap, 26 year old, controllable, decently productive major leaguer, but they’re likely getting 6-12 years from two of that same type of player (but 6 years younger) in return. These are the smart trades that very low budget teams like the Rays have to make to stay competitive.
Chris Young has fallen victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well known is this; never make a trade with the Rays when prospects are on the line!
Reading Scott Lucas and seeing his isn’t that on this deal as I thought he would be. He is high on Hernandez and not a big Lowe guy. Interesting.