Texas Rangers – MLB Trade Rumors https://www.mlbtraderumors.com Tue, 18 Sep 2018 14:32:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.6 Five Teams Set For Potential Triple-A Affiliate Changes https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/astros-rangers-athletics-nationals-brewers-triple-a-affiliate-changes.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/astros-rangers-athletics-nationals-brewers-triple-a-affiliate-changes.html#comments Mon, 17 Sep 2018 14:16:13 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132950 The majority of clubs throughout Major League Baseball have already announced that they’ve renewed their player development contracts with their Triple-A affiliates, but there are still five clubs that don’t have a clear plan in place just yet. Notably, the Astros and the Fresno Grizzles announced yesterday that they will not be renewing their partnership. As MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart writes, that should pave the way for the ’Stros to land in Round Rock (where they previously had their Triple-A club for a decade). Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan said a return to Round Rock is “at the top of our list,” McTaggart notes, adding that the Ryan family owns the Round Rock Express.

That move, of course, would leave the Rangers searching for a new affiliate, though Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News wrote over the weekend that the Rangers could well end up in San Antonio, where a Triple-A franchise will be added as Colorado Springs loses its Triple-A designation (a move that’ll leave the Brewers, currently in Colorado Springs, looking for a new home as well). As Fraley explores, the facilities to which the Rangers could relocate in San Antonio are currently lacking, which could potentially prove detrimental in pursuing minor league free agents. However, sticking in Texas would come with greater marketing opportunities and a preexisting fan base from which to draw.

The Brewers, Nationals and Athletics are the three other clubs that are yet undecided on next year’s affiliations. The Nats will be seeking a new partner following the post-2017 announcement that the Mets had purchased the Syracuse Chiefs (securing a much-needed geographic upgrade over their current home in Las Vegas). The Athletics, in similar fashion, would reap significant geographic benefits by moving from their current home in Nashville to either Fresno or Las Vegas.

Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Journal-Review notes that the Nationals have expressed interest in moving to Nashville, while Bryant-Jon Anteola of the Fresno Bee suggests that the A’s would likely have their pick between Fresno and Las Vegas, as both would prefer to partner with the Athletics for geographic reasons, giving Oakland the advantage. That’ll present the A’s with the decision of whether to play in California or move to a newly constructed facility Vegas and seems likely to leave the Brewers with an even larger gap between their big league club and their top minor league affiliate, though they’ll be moving into improved facilities either way.

AL West Notes: Felix, Lowrie, Cahill, Skaggs, Calhoun, Listach https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/al-al-west-notes-felix-lowrie-cahill-skaggs-calhoun-listach.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/al-al-west-notes-felix-lowrie-cahill-skaggs-calhoun-listach.html#comments Fri, 14 Sep 2018 00:25:24 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132768 Mariners fans in particular will want to read up on the club’s faded ace, Felix Hernandez, in this piece from Scott Miller of Bleacher Report. The veteran hurler has taken his downfall hard, but he’s still working to rediscover the magic that once made him one of the game’s very best pitchers. Of course, his lost fastball velocity means the odds are long; it’s still in full retreat despite the fact that Hernandez says his “body feels good” after dealing with injuries over the past two seasons. It’s a well-conceived and well-paced story — at once deep and, refreshingly, not unnecessarily lengthy — with some notable observations from current and former M’s personnel and others close to Hernandez.

More from the AL West:

  • Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie acknowledged today in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM (Twitter link) that he has had some contact with the club about staying on past the present season. The team’s interest in maintaining the relationship has been known for some time, but it’s interesting nevertheless to hear Lowrie address the matter. To this point, Lowrie says, talks haven’t moved past an initial expression of interest. But he says he likes it in Oakland and believes he fits the club well, so it certainly sounds as if the good vibes flow in both directions. No doubt that’s due in some part to the immense success both player and team have found this year. It’s a second-straight eyebrow-raising season at the plate for Lowrie, who owns a healthy .276/.360/.455 slash since the start of the 2017 campaign. He has set himself up for an interesting trip onto the open market — if nothing comes together first with the A’s.
  • In yet more unwelcome health news for the Athletics, righty Trevor Cahill has gone down with a rhomboid muscle strain, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The upper-back ailment comes at an uncomfortable proximity to the postseason, though it seems as if the expectation is he won’t miss more than a single start. To be sure that things aren’t more serious, Cahill is headed in for an MRI.
  • Angels southpaw Tyler Skaggs was able to work up to a 48-pitch sim game today, skipper Mike Scioscia tells reporters including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (via Twitter). It’s still not clear whether he’ll return to the majors this year, though that figures to be a topic of discussion in the coming days. The 27-year-old, who is rehabbing from an adductor strain, is looking to extend his personal-best 116 2/3-inning, 3.78 ERA showing on the season. Whether or not he’s able to do so, Skaggs has impressed and now seems to be one of the club’s best bets to provide quality frames in 2019 — if he can stay healthy. Skaggs will likely command a nice raise in his second-to-last trip through the arbitration process after earning $1,875,000 this year.
  • It’s still not clear when Rangers prospect Willie Calhoun will get his first real crack at the big leagues. As T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes, Calhoun had seemed likely to see much more action in the 2018 season. Instead, after a relatively tepid season at the plate at the Triple-A level, Calhoun is seeing scattered time late this season. It seems the organization still wants to see more from the key piece of last year’s Yu Darvish swap before clearing the way. Beyond his known deficiencies in the field and on the bases, manager Jeff Banister seemingly hinted that there are some strength and conditioning steps that the youngster could take to improve.
  • In other Mariners news, the club will part ways with Triple-A skipper and longtime big leaguer player Pat Listach, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times recently tweeted. That’ll put an end to a four-year run at Tacoma for the former infielder, who has at times been mentioned as a future MLB managerial candidate.
Latest On Rangers’ Offseason Pitching Plans https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/latest-on-rangers-offseason-pitching-plans-rumors.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/latest-on-rangers-offseason-pitching-plans-rumors.html#comments Thu, 13 Sep 2018 22:02:29 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132747 With the Rangers currently thin on internal options for the 2019 rotation,  the team will likely be active in free agency this offseason, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. General manager Jon Daniels tells Wilson that the “concept of layering in a quality free agent addition, that’s appealing.”

That said, as Wilson notes, the team isn’t likely to pursue top-of-the-market options like Dallas Keuchel and Patrick Corbin. Rather, a less substantial investment — something along the lines of last winter’s Mike Minor signing (three years, $28MM), perhaps — could be in the cards.

Of course, that assumes not only that the Rangers will be able to offer enough money, but also that they’ll be able to woo an appealing hurler to join a roster that likely won’t be expected to contend immediately. Of course, the very same uncertainties also make the Texas club “a pretty attractive destination” for pitchers who are “willing to compete for innings in Spring Training,” as Daniels put it.

Even if the Rangers end up making a reasonably splashy acquisition, they’ll surely be looking for other arms to battle it out in camp. After all, there are slim pickings on hand.

Beyond Minor, Adrian Sampson, Yohander Mendez, Ariel Jurado and Eddie Butler all possibilities in 2019. Edinson Volquez, too, could be in the mix at some point as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery. Wilson notes that Yovani Gallardo would like to return to Texas as well, while the door also seems open for Martin Perez to come back even if his option is declined (as probably ought to be expected).

While it’s true, then, that there are possibilities on hand, that group of hurlers is not exactly overflowing with MLB accomplishment and promise as compared with most staffs around baseball. Neither would the above-suggested reunions clearly move the needle. Given Gallardo’s extraordinary decline and poor results in 2018, for instance, a minor-league deal seems appropriate. It’s also questionable whether Perez is worthy of an MLB pact, though he has youth on his side and has been useful at times in the past.

Clearly, then, Daniels is to be taken at his words regarding the clear-cut openings in the rotation. The situation could very well hold appeal to starters who know they’ll need to win jobs on non-guaranteed pacts in Spring Training.

The veteran executive notes, too, that the organization is open to being “a little less traditional” in how it structures its staff, perhaps opening the door to some creative options in structuring a staff. Bold thinking may well be necessary; barring some unexpectedly consequential acquisitions via trade and/or free agency, after all, the expectations will likely not be terribly lofty for the Rangers’ 2019 rotation.

Elvis Andrus Unlikely To Exercise Opt-Out Clause https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/elvis-andrus-rangers-opt-out-unlikely.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/elvis-andrus-rangers-opt-out-unlikely.html#comments Wed, 12 Sep 2018 02:12:19 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132677 Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus addressed the opt-out clause in his contract with reporters yesterday, strongly suggesting that he doesn’t plan on testing free agency this winter (link via Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News). Andrus, 30, plainly stated that he is “for sure” coming back to the Rangers next season before backpedaling a bit and emphasizing that no final decision will be made until the offseason.

It’s not much of a surprise to hear Andrus suggest he’ll forgo the opt-out provision in his eight-year, $120MM contract. As I noted last week when running through the opt-outs around the league, Clayton Kershaw is the only player with an opt-out clause in this year’s free-agent class who can be considered likely to opt out. While Andrus had the next-best case, his chances of opting out are lowered by the fact that he has a second opt-out clause in his contract following the 2019 campaign.

Had Andrus performed at a level commensurate with his 2016-17 output — combined .299/.348/.457 with 28 homers and 49 steals in 1257 plate appearances — there’d have been a strong chance he’d opt out of the remaining four years and $58MM. He enjoyed a strong start to the season for the first couple of weeks but then missed just under seven weeks of action after being hit by a pitch and sustaining a fractured elbow.

Since returning, Andrus’ production hasn’t matched his previous levels, as some may have expected given the nature of his injury. Andrus was hitting .327/.426/.500 through his first 61 plate appearances this year but has stumbled to a .253/.293/.365 slash in 307 PAs since returning. He’s made some improvements since the All-Star break, but it’d still be a stretch to imagine him topping $58MM in free agency this winter — especially considering he’d surely be hit with a qualifying offer upon opting out. (Were he to walk away from four years and $58MM, the Rangers would surely feel confident he’d do the same if presented with a one-year offer worth around $18MM.)

Andrus can return for a guaranteed $15MM in 2019 and then forgo the remaining $43MM on his contract in the event that he has a better season at the plate. At that point, agent Scott Boras could pitch him as a quality defensive shortstop who has had three strong offensive seasons in his past four years, with the lone disappointment coming after suffering a fairly notable elbow injury that impacted his swing. And, should Andrus incur additional injuries or see his struggles at the plate continue, he’ll have the safety net of a fairly hefty three-year guarantee on which to fall back.

Rangers Outright Chris Rowley https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/rangers-outright-chris-rowley.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/rangers-outright-chris-rowley.html#comments Mon, 10 Sep 2018 20:32:39 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132614 The Rangers announced Monday that they’ve outrighted right-hander Chris Rowley off the 40-man roster after he cleared waivers. Texas’ 40-man roster now sits at a total of 39 players.

Rowley, 28, began the season in the Blue Jays organization but was claimed off outright waivers by the Rangers back in late July. While he didn’t appear for the big league club, Rowley did turn in 41 2/3 solid innings at the Triple-A level in the Rangers organization, working to a 3.46 ERA with 7.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 44.4 percent ground-ball rate. In all, he has a 3.34 ERA in 145 2/3 Triple-A frames this season.

Despite a fairly encouraging performance in the minors, it doesn’t seem that Rowley will get a chance to improve upon his limited Major League experience. He tossed just two-thirds of an inning for the Jays earlier this season, plus another 18 2/3 innings in 2017, and has yielded a total of 17 runs in those 19 1/3 MLB innings. While that’s obviously not a very encouraging sample of work, Rowley does have a career 2.90 ERA in the minors — including a 3.13 mark in 207 innings at Triple-A.

Rowley doesn’t have much heat on his fastball, averaging 88.8 mph in the Majors, and he’s never been one to miss many bats or rack up grounders at a prolific rate. However, his typically low walk rates and solid run-prevention numbers in the minors should make him a somewhat appealing depth option this offseason — be it for the Rangers or another club.

Rangers Demote Bartolo Colon To Bullpen https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/al-west-notes-astros-athletics-rangers-colon.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/al-west-notes-astros-athletics-rangers-colon.html#comments Sun, 09 Sep 2018 03:35:40 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132528
  • In an effort to evaluate their younger players, the Rangers are removing right-hander Bartolo Colon from their rotation in favor of fellow righty Adrian Sampson, Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram reports. Unless Texas plugs Colon back into its rotation within the next few weeks, it’s fair to wonder whether the 45-year-old has made his last major league start. Colon wants to pitch in 2019, but whether he’ll draw much interest in the offseason is in question. The estimable Colon’s effectiveness has evaporated dating back to last season, including during his 144 1/3 innings with the Rangers this year. Across 26 appearances and 24 starts, he has posted a 5.55 ERA/5.31 FIP. As a result, he may be in line to finish 2018 (and perhaps his career) as a reliever.
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    2018-19 Opt-Out & Player Option Decisions https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/mlb-opt-out-clause-decisions-clayton-kershaw-dodgers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/mlb-opt-out-clause-decisions-clayton-kershaw-dodgers.html#comments Fri, 07 Sep 2018 16:53:25 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132418 With Major League teams increasingly adding opt-out provisions to free-agent contracts as a means of incentivizing players to sign, there are now a handful of those decisions that impact the free-agent market every offseason. With nearly 90 percent of the season already in the books, many of the opt-out decisions/player option decisions look pretty clear cut.

    Things could change over the final month, but here’s a look at where things currently stand…

    Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (Two years, $65MM remaining): Truthfully, Kershaw is the only player with an opt-out provision in 2018 who could be called likely to exercise the clause at present. While he hasn’t been quite as dominant as usual and has spent time on the DL for a third straight year (back issues, biceps tendinitis), it’s difficult to imagine him having to take less than that $65MM sum in free agency.

    In 131 1/3 innings this season, Kershaw is sporting a 2.40 ERA with 8.7 K/9, 1.4 BB/9, 0.89 HR/9 and a 48.9 percent ground-ball rate. He hasn’t topped 200 innings since 2015, but he’s still a clearly elite starter. If he does formally opt out, the Dodgers can issue a qualifying offer, though perhaps the easiest scenario would be for Los Angeles to simply extend Kershaw’s current contract to prolong his already historic Dodgers career.

    David Price, Red Sox (Four years, $127MM remaining): Price is having his best season with the Red Sox, having notched a 3.60 ERA with a strikeout per inning and 2.4 walks per nine innings pitched through 152 1/3 frames. His results have been solid, but it’s nearly impossible to imagine a scenario where he exceeds $127MM in free agency at the age of 33. Price’s Boston tenure has been rocky at times, but it seems likely that he’ll be back in the rotation next season.

    [Related: Club option decisions on starting pitchers, relievers and position players]

    Jason Heyward, Cubs (Five years, $106MM remaining): Declining to opt out is little more than a formality for Heyward at this point, as he hasn’t come close to living up to his $184MM contract in Chicago through the first three seasons. To his credit, though the 29-year-old has had a nice rebound effort, hitting .275/.342/.399 with above-average defense in right field. That might make the Cubs feel better about his contract moving forward, but it won’t be enough to prompt Heyward to test free agency. His contract contains a second opt-out clause following the 2019 season, at which point he’ll have four years and $86MM remaining, but that also seems like a long shot.

    Elvis Andrus, Rangers (Four years, $58MM): Andrus could be considered more of a borderline call than some on this list, but he seems likelier to stay with Texas than to opt out. The 30-year-old hasn’t had a bad season, hitting .270/.322/.396 with quality defense, but his bat hasn’t been as potent as it was in 2016-17 when he hit a combined .299/.348/.457. The downturn in offensive output might not be entirely Andrus’ fault; he did incur a broken elbow when he was hit by a pitch earlier this season — an injury that caused him to miss just over two months of action. It’s easy to imagine that injury having a lingering effect on Andrus’ swing, too.

    Like Heyward, Andrus has a second opt-out clause in his contract after the 2019 season. At that point, he’ll have three years and $43MM remaining on his contract. If his bat returns to its 2016-17 levels, surpassing that $43MM mark in free agency could be plausible. If Andrus opted out, he’d certainly be issued a qualifying offer — there’s no reason for the team to worry about him taking a one-year deal worth about $18MM when he just walked away from $58MM — which would only further hinder his earning power.

    Yasmany Tomas, D-backs (Two years, $32.5MM remaining): Tomas clubbed 31 homers with the 2016 Diamondbacks but did so with a .315 on-base percentage and some of the worst defensive ratings of any player in the Majors — regardless of position. He’s since been outrighted off the 40-man roster and, in 371 Triple-A plate appearances this season, has 101 strikeouts against 11 walks with a .280 OBP. Suffice it to say: he’s not going anywhere.

    Mark Melancon, Giants (Two years, $28MM remaining): Injuries have ruined Melancon’s first two seasons with the Giants, though he’s been excellent since returning in 2018: 2.64 ERA, 7.9K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 53.1 percent ground-ball rate in 30 2/3 innings. That performance is encouraging for the Giants as they look to 2019, but it won’t be enough to make Melancon’s camp think he can top $28MM heading into his age-34 season.

    Brandon Kintzler, Cubs ($5MM player option): Kintzler’s contract technically contains a $10MM club option or a $5MM player option, but it’s clear given his dismal performance since being traded to Chicago that the team won’t be opting for that $10MM sum. Kintzler was very good with the Twins and Nationals from 2016 through this past July, but his typically excellent control has evaporated in Chicago while his hard-contact rate has skyrocketed. It’s only a sample of 11 2/3 innings, but his struggles make the option seem a fairly straightforward decision.

    Eduardo Nunez, Red Sox ($5MM player option): Nunez’s deal comes with a $2MM buyout, making this effectively a $3MM decision for his camp. He’s struggled to the point that he may not even want to take that risk, though, hitting just .258/.282/.384 through 473 trips to the plate.

    Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reported this week that Nunez’s option increased from $4MM to $5MM once he reached 400 plate appearances. Bradford spoke to Nunez, who acknowledged that the knee that gave out on him in the postseason last year has been a problem for him throughout 2018, though he believes he’s finally “close” to 100 percent. Perhaps a strong month and a big postseason could prompt him to again test the open market, but his overall production to this point makes the player option seem a likelier outcome.

    Bartolo Colon Hopes To Pitch In 2019 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/bartolo-colon-rumors-pitch-2019-rangers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/bartolo-colon-rumors-pitch-2019-rangers.html#comments Fri, 07 Sep 2018 14:39:57 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132413 Bartolo Colon will turn 46 next May, but the veteran right-hander told reporters this week that he’s nonetheless hoping for a return to the Majors next season (link via Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News). Specifically, Colon said he’d love to return to the Rangers, though Fraley suggests that could be a long shot.

    Given Colon’s recent results, it’s difficult to imagine anything other than minor league offers materializing for him in free agency this winter. While he came out of the gates with a strong 3.55 ERA and 40-to-7 K/BB ratio through his first 63 1/3 innings with the Rangers in 2018, his season has spiraled out of control. The righty has turned in a woeful 7.11 ERA over his past 15 starts with 41 strikeouts against 18 walks in 81 innings of work.

    Though this is more a statement about the Rangers and their rotation woes than it is about Colon, the veteran right-hander does lead Texas with 144 1/3 innings pitched in 2018. He’s remained a fairly durable rotation piece even at 45 years of age, though his fastball is averaging a career-low 87.4 mph. Meanwhile, his 1.87 HR/9 mark is the highest he’s posted since a brief, ill-fated run with the 2009 White Sox, though surely playing at Globe Life Park in Arlington doesn’t help him in that regard. Colon’s walk rate remains pristine (1.56 BB/9), and it’s also worth noting that fielding-independent pitching metrics feel he’s performed similarly, if not better than he did in 2017 when he managed to secure a minor league pact with Texas (4.64 xFIP).

    Colon already broke Juan Marichal’s record for wins by a Dominican-born pitcher earlier this season — he’s now at 247 in his career — and he’s spoken recently about wanting to top Marichal’s career innings mark as well. Colon is currently 47 1/3 frames shy of that distinction, so he won’t get there before the end of the current campaign.

    It’s certainly plausible that another club would put forth a minor league offer this winter — more anecdotally, Colon has pitched for 11 different teams, placing him two teams behind Edwin Jackson’s record of 13 — but “Big Sexy” would almost certainly have to earn his way onto a 2019 roster with a more encouraging Spring Training effort.

    Latest On Jeff Banister, Rangers Coaches https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/managerialcoaching-notes-gibbons-riggleman-rangers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/managerialcoaching-notes-gibbons-riggleman-rangers.html#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2018 16:41:10 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132371
  • It’s been an ugly season for the Rangers for the most part, though Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that GM Jon Daniels and his staff are drawing some positives from the manner in which their coaching staff has helped a few younger players move forward. Rougned Odor’s rebound season was one positive highlighted by Daniels, who also listed Jose Leclerc, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Ronald Guzman and Jurickson Profar as some players who’ve taken positive strides in an otherwise disappointing season. Davison notes that “signs seemingly point to job security for manager Jeff Banister,” who is currently signed only through next year after a 2019 club option was exercised last offseason. It’s not clear whether the Rangers front office has its sights set on a new deal for Banister or whether he could potentially head into next year’s season with the dreaded “lame duck” status.
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    Volquez On Track For 2019 Rotation; Rangers Could Utilize "Openers" In 2019 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/al-west-notes-mariners-deetz-rangers.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/al-west-notes-mariners-deetz-rangers.html#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2018 18:35:41 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132324 Manager Scott Servais wasn’t in the clubhouse at the time but told reporters that such incidents are more common than most would think. “I played for 11 years in the big leagues and it’s almost every year with every team I’ve been a part of,” the manager explained. Seattle has fallen to 5.5 games back from a Wild Card spot as it attempts to end the game’s longest playoff drought. With a combined six games remaining against the Yankees and A’s, who currently hold those Wild Card spots, plus 10 games against the last-place Orioles, Padres and Rangers, there’s still time for the Mariners to turn things around.

    • Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News looks ahead to the future of the Rangers’ rotation, delving into the possibility of the team adopting the increasingly popular “opener” trend in 2019 as well as the argument and reasoning for doing so. While there’s little in the way of certainty on the Rangers’ roster at present, Grant notes that veteran righty Edinson Volquez, who signed a two-year minor league contract last year, is progressing well in his rehab from Tommy John surgery and could be on the cusp of facing live hitters. Volquez is expected to vie for a starting job next year alongside Mike Minor and at least one young, internal option. Texas could opt to pursue a veteran piece who could develop into a trade chip this winter or could stick with internal options and focus on adding some relievers, depending on how aggressively Jon Daniels & Co. want to pursue the “opener” methodology.
    Dodgers Pursued Adrian Beltre Before Revocable Waiver Deadline https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/dodgers-pursued-adrian-beltre-declined-trade-interest.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/dodgers-pursued-adrian-beltre-declined-trade-interest.html#comments Tue, 04 Sep 2018 01:06:25 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132247 The Dodgers pursued Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre in advance of the recent revocable waiver deadline, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports (and on Twitter). A lack of interest — on the part of both the Texas organization and its veteran star — evidently scuttled talks between the clubs.

    With full no-trade protection, Beltre controlled his own destiny. He was never formally presented with a deal for a yay or nay, though that simply isn’t how he and his long-time employer handled the matter. Rather, both GM Jon Daniels and Beltre labeled it a mutual decision not to pursue a trade.

    For Beltre, passing on the opportunity meant missing out on a chance to serve as a reserve for his former team in Los Angeles — a role that ultimately was filled through the acquisition of David Freese. That would have meant a shot at a deep postseason run, it still wasn’t enough to pique Beltre’s interest. He reiterated yet again that he wishes to wrap up his playing career with the Rangers.

    Where this situation is most interesting is in the evident regard both Beltre and the Rangers front office showed for one another. Beltre says he’d only have been interested in a deal if “it was a perfect situation for me and the organization.”

    Daniels said that the Rangers would not have stood to recoup much in the way of a return (in terms of prospects and/or cost savings). He explained: “If [Beltre] had wanted to push for a trade, we would have honored that; for him to not to have done so says a lot about his relationship with the fans and his teammates. That piece of it, I’m in awe of.”

    As Grant notes, it’s a rather unusual situation in several regards. While it’s still unclear whether Beltre will play another season, and if so whether it would be with the Rangers, this episode certainly makes it appear more likely that team and player will remain united from this point forward.

    Rangers Outright Drew Hutchison https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/rangers-outright-drew-hutchison.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/rangers-outright-drew-hutchison.html#comments Mon, 03 Sep 2018 22:17:56 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=132239 The Rangers have outrighted right-hander Drew Hutchison, per a club announcement. He has already cleared waivers and been assigned to Triple-A.

    Having created two 40-man roster openings, the Rangers will purchase the contracts of righty Adrian Sampson and lefty C.D. Pelham. Also coming onto the active MLB roster are right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx, outfielder Willie Calhoun, and infielder Hanser Alberto.

    Hutchison, 28, was signed onto the MLB roster recently as the Rangers sought to fill some innings. Unfortunately, he was unable to take advantage of the opportunity, surrendering 21 earned runs with an ugly 12:13 K/BB ratio in 21 1/3 innings over five starts.

    Despite generally excellent minor-league numbers, Hutchison has never really found success in the majors. In parts of five seasons in the bigs, he has thrown 460 1/3 total frames of 5.10 ERA ball.

    August 31st Trade Deadline Recap https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/august-31st-trade-deadline-recap.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/09/august-31st-trade-deadline-recap.html#comments Sat, 01 Sep 2018 15:42:28 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=131979 A flurry of activity came yesterday in advance of the deadline to acquire postseason-eligible players via trade. In case you weren’t able to keep track of it all, here’s a roundup of the swaps made by MLB organizations on August 31st, 2018, sorted by the team on the acquiring end of the major-leaguer involved.

    AL West

    AL Central

    • The Indians acquired Josh Donaldson from the Blue Jays. Toronto will send $2.7MM to Cleveland as well, and they’ll get back a player to be named later, the quality of which will be dependent upon how Donaldson’s health situation progresses.

    AL East

    • The Yankees took Adeiny Hechavarria off the Pirates’ hands in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. It’s not yet known how much cash the Bucs will chip in to help pay the ~$1MM still owed to Hechavarria.
    • The Yankees also pried Andrew McCutchen from the Giants. San Francisco gets infield prospect Abiatal Avelino and right-handed pitching prospect Juan De Paula.

    NL West

    NL Central

    NL East

    • (No trades)
    Athletics Acquire Cory Gearrin From Rangers https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/08/rangers-trade-cory-gearrin-athletics.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/08/rangers-trade-cory-gearrin-athletics.html#comments Fri, 31 Aug 2018 20:12:44 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=131867 The Rangers announced that they’ve traded right-hander Cory Gearrin to the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-handers Abdiel Mendoza and Teodoro Ortega. Oakland also announced the move, adding that righty Paul Blackburn will go from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL to clear 40-man roster space.

    Gearrin, 32, had spent the past several seasons in the bay area with the cross-town Giants. But he landed with the Rangers after being included in a mid-season move in which the San Francisco organization shed some salary obligations, including the remainder of Gearrin’s $1.675MM salary.

    The remainder of that money will now be paid by the A’s, who have added several bullpen pieces over the course of the summer as they have flown up the standings. The Oakland ballclub currently sits 2.5 games back of the division-leading Astros, but still has time to make up that ground and also enjoys a healthy 4.5 game pad over the Mariners for the final Wild Card spot.

    Gearrin will not only help the A’s by bolstering their middle-relief mix, but will perhaps also help reduce the load on several of the team’s other bullpen arms down the stretch. He has never really functioned as a late-inning arm, but that’s not really something the Oakland organization is much in need of at the moment.

    [Related: Oakland Athletics depth chart]

    Since landing with the Rangers, Gearrin has turned in 21 1/3 effective innings. He carries a 2.53 ERA in that span, leaving him with a 3.51 mark on the season, and has been more effective at limiting the long balls that plagued him earlier in the year in San Francisco. At times in the past, Gearrin has produced quite a few groundballs, but he’s getting them on less than forty percent of the balls put in play against him in 2018.

    While this move is no doubt mostly intended to boost the team’s immediate outlook the A’s will also gain some potential future considerations in the swap. Gearrin can be controlled for one final season via arbitration.

    On the other side of the bargain, the Rangers will lose the chance to hang onto Gearrin at a fairly cheap rate for 2019. Instead, they’ll pick up a pair of lower-level arms. Mendoza, who’ll soon turn 20, owns a 3.32 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 57 innings at the low-A level. Ortega is just 18 and is in his first professional season in the Dominican Summer League. He impressed there, however, with a 2.11 ERA and 10.1 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 over his 42 2/3 frames, which have come over six starts and eight relief appearances.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Rangers Move Martin Perez To Bullpen https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/08/rangers-martin-perez-bullpen-2019-option-unlikely.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/08/rangers-martin-perez-bullpen-2019-option-unlikely.html#comments Thu, 30 Aug 2018 03:57:21 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=131699 The Rangers have moved left-hander Martin Perez to the bullpen for the remainder of the season and have informed his camp that the team is not currently planning on picking up his $7.5MM club option for the 2019 season (Twitter links via Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News). MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan quotes Texas GM Jon Daniels on the matter (Twitter link):

    “We told Martin that if the decision had to be made today, we probably wouldn’t exercise the option. It’s possible we could still work something out for him to continue his career here. We want to take this time to evaluate him in a bullpen role.”

    It’s not hard to see why the Rangers are strongly leaning toward paying Perez a $750K buyout, as the lefty has been rocked for a 6.95 ERA in 68 2/3 innings this season. The 27-year-old also missed a significant portion of the season while recovering from surgery on his right (non-throwing) elbow that he underwent this past offseason.

    Perez does have somewhat of a track record in Texas, having pitched to a 4.37 ERA over the life of 638 innings from 2013-17. But while Perez was a source of serviceable innings prior to the 2018 season while earning a relatively modest $16.8MM during his current contract, he’s also never lived up to the fanfare that led to him widely being considered a top 50 (and, at one point, top 20) prospect in the game.

    Perez has made just six relief appearances in his career — all coming back when he was a rookie in 2012. It seems unlikely that a month of relief work, no matter how encouraging, would convince the Rangers to pay that fairly hefty sum. Perhaps, however, an encouraging performance could lead the two sides to hammer out a new contractual arrangement that would give Perez the chance to remain in the organization at a lower rate. If not, he’ll reach free agency for the first time this winter, albeit on the heels of the worst season of his seven-year career in the Majors.