Texas Ranger pitching trade targets interesting
With the Rangers in pole position in the AL West, they need to pick up pitching help for the home stretch, and some potential targets are tasty indeed.
A month ago, the potential trade targets for the Texas Rangers were not much more than wishful thinking. Jacob de Grom was out for the season and there weren’t many meaningful possibilities out there for the Rangers to focus on. Rumors and rumblings were about as much as could be divined.
Fast forward to post-All-Star break and the landscape is very different indeed. Two weeks have passed since the Rangers dealt for Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees and there are some tasty names on the horizon for Texas.
Let me get this one out of the way right off the bat. There is zero chance that Shohei Ohtani will come to Texas, for the simple fact that there is zero chance that the Angels will trade him to anyone at all. Despite all of the East Coast vs West Coast debate that has been raging all season between Dodger and Yankee hopefuls, the Angels will never, and I repeat never, trade Ohtani. They will go all in on making him an outrageously high offer for the rest of his playing days à la Mike Trout. It may not be successful, but that is a hill that they are more than willing to die on.
Lucas Giolito is having all sorts of trouble in Chicago, mainly to do with his personal life, with he and his wife filing for divorce on Tuesday. And while that is a terrible situation for anyone to be in, it could mean that a pitcher who was perhaps the top Texas target heading into June may be more willing to make a clean break and start over in Dallas.
It may sound trite and cold, but athletes are people, and human reasons to move or stay in a city must be taken into account.
On the mound, Giolito is just the kind of pitcher that Texas loves. He has a respectable 3.45 ERA on 112.1 innings pitched, notching up 117 strikeouts and sporting a 1.14 WHIP. Most importantly for Bruce Bochy, he is a traditional starting pitcher, averaging 6.2 innings per outing. Just the sort of thing to replace de Grom.
Every team in the league is competing for Giolito and it isn’t so much a question of whether he will leave Chicago or not but where he will land. The Astros, Phillies, and Dodgers are all in the race for his services, so Texas will have to come up with a convincing offer if they want to land him.
Another pitcher who would have never in a million years been considered for trading last month is Marcus Stroman. He has put together one of the best seasons of his career with a 2.96 ERA on 112.2 innings pitched for 98 strikeouts and a 1.11 WHIP.
He has been vocal about his desire to remain a Cub for life, but Chicago is struggling to make the post season this year and it has been reported that they are not inclined to sign Stroman to an extension before the deadline.
There will be a ton of demand for Stroman around the league, and the Cubs should be able to make a trade pay off big for them. The Rays and Blue Jays are officially in the hunt for his services, but Texas has a strong hand to play with their long-term commitment to bullpen excellence. And an owner in Ray Davis who is willing to spend big to get the best talent certainly helps.
Yes it is unlikely that the Mets will want to trade Max Scherzer. And yes, if they do decide to trade him, it will have to make financial sense, possibly even set new records. But the surprise announcement by Scherzer that he could be willing be traded for the right team certainly opens the door.
Every team in the league, with the possible exception of the Dodgers, would be ecstatic to have Scherzer on staff. But that eye-watering price tag will weed out some of the teams who are more wishful than hopeful.
But if Scherzer is available, expect Texas to be in the hunt.
This is one that falls in the realms of hopeful rather than evidence-based, but there is reason to believe that Burnes could be looking for the door in Milwaukee. After they effectively gave Josh Hader away and then unceremoniously laid the blame for all their woes on Burnes’ doorstep in the offseason, it is a wonder that he is playing as well as he is for them.
No sound or rumblings of any kind have suggested that the Brewers are looking to trade him, but Burnes’ relationship with the organization is strained at best. He is throwing above average stuff this season at a 3.94 ERA on 107.1 innings pitched with 102 strikeouts for a 1.14 WHIP. And that for a team that he doesn’t want to play for any more. A move would see him back into the elite-level Cy Young contention that he is capable of.