Texas Rangers: Offload at Deadline, Look To The Future

Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

By Wiley Singleton

From 2015-2020 the Rangers were buyers at the trade deadline. This meant that they thought they had the talent to make a playoff run. They traded young prospects for veterans. This began in 2015 when they traded for Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman. It ended with the Corey Kluber deal last season. The Hamels trade was a legitimate big move to bolster an already strong roster. The Kluber move was a half-assed coinflip to pretend to compete in a short season. The Rangers lost a top pitching prospect, Emmanuel Clase, to make that move. The oft injured Klubot lasted ONE inning before re-injuring his shoulder.

The Rangers have since moved on from their pretentious, tepid moves that defined the 2017-2020 years. The awful half-buys that inspire no confidence have ceased and the front office has finally agreed to rebuild. 

Rebuilding means selling any veteran player with value. The Rangers finally committed to selling. They traded all their All Stars except Adolis Garcia at the deadline. It is a shame they could not trade Garcia, he has been in a freefall since the break. 

The Rangers offloaded their best 1st round pick in recent memory, Joey Gallo, to the hated New York Yankees. The Rangers did not receive the Yankees top prospect. Instead they received a few of the lesser prospects. Exequeil Duran is a second baseman who is a couple years from coming up and looks promising. Shortstop Josh Smith was also added in this deal. OF Trevor Hauver and RHP Glenn Otto round out this trade. Duran is the most promising of these prospects, who rank in the 5-15 range of the Yankees farm system.

For an all star gold glover with 1.5 years of control left like Joey Gallo, that return seems a bit light. Gallo stated multiple times he wanted to stay in Texas. Keeping Gallo with almost no contracts on the books for the upcoming season was completely achievable. The cheap owners did not want to do it. It is going to be brutal to see Gallo in a Yankees uniform. Hopefully he signs with Texas or a NL team at the end of next season. 

The Rangers have been getting fleeced by the Yankees for years. This trade was uninspired considering how much Gallo meant to Texas. The Rangers also threw in a young arm, Joely Rodriguez. This makes little sense. Why give away precious pitching prospects when you are basically fielding an AAA roster on purpose? This oddity was seen in the deal with the Phillies too.

The Rangers shipped their two best pitchers to Philly. The Phillies desperately needed pitching help. Their starting rotation is top heavy, their bullpen weak. Kyle “Ace” Gibson and Ian Kennedy were the two guys Philly thinks can help them win their awful division. The NL East is soft. The Braves’ two best players are hurt severely. The Mets have two starters they can count on and commit fraud at every turn. Philly looks a bit top heavy and inconsistent still, but without Gibson and Kennedy, the Rangers closer, they would be doomed.

The Phillies top pitching prospect, Spencer Howard, was the main target of the deal. Hopefully he can develop alongside Al Leiter as a top end starter. Rightie pitching prospects Kevin Gowdy and Josh Gessner were also acquired. Howard is the gem of the trade though. 

Puzzlingly, the Rangers threw in a top pitching prospect, Hans Crouse, in the deal. The Rangers struggle badly to develop talent. Especially pitching talent. It is vexing to see top end pitching prospects be shipped away to desperate buying teams. 

Both the Phillies and Yankees were desperate. Both teams have not won a pennant since before 2010. They were in situations where they definitely had to add big players. The Rangers return seems to be more of a “just ship as many guys as possible for the best deal offered.”

The Rangers gave up too much young talent at the deadline, but improved their farm system. They went from ranked 24th to 12th. The Rangers have some serious pieces to build on. They will have another high draft pick next season. They have tons of cap room. 

The current big league roster is a motley crew of AAA players. IFK and Nick Solak were due for big years. They needed to improve upon what they did well last season. Both have gotten worse. The Rangers have improved for the future, but need to sell big at next year’s trade deadline too. Hopefully ownership actually signs players in the offseason, like Kyle Gibson last offseason, that are high risk/high reward. There is a chance next season could be a disgusting tank fest. The current product the Rangers are putting out is a joke.