Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: Is Choo playing his way onto the trading block?

Shin-Soo Choo has reached base in 24 straight games, the longest streak in the majors, and is riding a 13-game hitting streak.
Shin-Soo Choo has reached base in 24 straight games, the longest streak in the majors, and is riding a 13-game hitting streak. The Associated Press

Here's a story that Jon Daniels said is "Totally Yu." Apparently, former Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish is either quite a prankster, very humble or a little flighty.

The fine people at Do It For Durrett asked Darvish if he would be so kind as to acquire some memorabilia from his new team, the Chicago Cubs, and he was glad to help.

He sent autographed baseballs of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber. Great.

One thing was missing: Darvish memorabilia.

His penance for the oversight was for him to send one of his jerseys autographed. It's not like he's using them right now anyway.

It arrived in the mail Friday and will be available in the silent auction at the June 27 Do It For Durrett event at Globe Life Park during a game vs. the San Diego Padres. Only VIP tickets remain, and they will sell out.

In other words, buy yours today at www.doitfordurrett.com/shop.

Hopefully the Rangers fare better that night than they did Friday against the Houston Astros.

Here's some Rangers Reaction from a 7-3 loss.

1. The buzz when it comes to the Rangers at the trade deadline has been centered on Adrian Beltre and Cole Hamels, and they would probably serve as upgrades to contenders if healthy.

That "if," health, could turn off some clubs on Beltre.

But at the rate he's hitting and reaching base, is Shin-Soo Choo turning himself into a candidate to be dealt?

On Friday, Choo was (again) the Rangers' best offensive player.

He reached in his first three plate appearances, including a leadoff homer on Justin Verlander's first pitch of the game. Choo then walked in the third and bunted for a hit in the fifth.

He has reached in 24 consecutive games, the longest on-base streak in the majors, and is riding a 13-game hitting streak. He has drawn 23 walks in 24 games and is halfway to matching his career-high homer total of 22 with 96 games to go.

The primary issue is Choo's contract, which would have the prorated remainder of his 2018 contract plus two more years at $21 million each. The money, though, can always be massaged.

Those who point to health concerns should look at Choo's career track record. He's been a durable player, with the four-DL-stint 2016 the outlier and not the norm.

Choo would seem to be a better fit for an AL team, though he's not the lump in the outfield he has been made out to be. He's not exactly Roberto Clemente, either, but a National League contender might be willing to deal with the defense.

Remember, Choo was linked to Arizona in a deal for Zack Greinke during the winter meetings. He's also on the verge of getting his 10-and-5 rights (10 years of service time, five straight seasons with his current team), at which point he can veto any trade.

If the Rangers want to unload his contract with minimal hassle (Choo does have a limited no-trade clause), they need to do it this season. Moving him would give the Rangers more flexibility on the field and in the budget.

Then again, he's a pretty good player. Better than he is perceived to be.

The Rangers know that. Other teams do, too. And perhaps a team will look into what it would take to acquire him if he remains a productive player ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.

2. The Star-Telegram posed this question in a scintillating please-click-here headline: Will Rangers' development plan affect how Beltre, Andrus plan their futures?

Beltre can re-sign with the Rangers, leave via free agency or retire. Elvis Andrus can leave if he opts out of his eight-year contract.

Beltre could do any of the three, honestly. He really likes it with the Rangers, even in their current state, but he also wants to win a World Series. There are no guarantees that moving to contender would give him a ring, just as there are no guarantees that he decided to play next season.

There are no guarantees he will be with the Rangers after July.

Andrus can opt out after this season (and next), but the options if he opts out aren't great.

The teams that can pay him the kind of money the Rangers are paying him ($15 mil a year) already have pretty good shortstops. His disdain for the cold eliminates a lot of those cities anyway.

He also might be leery of what free agency would hold after the last off-season, when teams put the players through the wringer. Would Andrus be one of the players who has to sign a one-year deal for far less than he expected to make, especially coming off a season in which he missed two months?

Seems like a risk when he already has a $15 million guarantee for 2019.

He also has the chance to do what players seldom do these days — play their entire careers with one team. Andrus could play out his current deal, which ends when he is 34 or 35 if it vests for 2023.

That would be his 15th MLB season. He would own just about every offensive club record. He would be the face of the franchise and a sure-fire pick for the club's Hall of Fame.

He would be around four seasons shy of 3,000 hits and a sure-fire pick for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Andrus said on Thursday that he isn't thinking about next season. To be fair, his broken arm deserves all of his attention. But he's thought about what's ahead.

If he's being honest with himself, opting out isn't his best option.

3. It wasn't Doug Fister's best game of the season as he entered the sixth inning. He had allowed five runs over the first five, four in the second, but he and the Rangers were still standing, down 5-3.

Then, he threw a pitch to Yuli Gurriel to start the inning, and his game got a whole lot worse.

Fister's right knee barked on the pitch, which Gurriel fouled off, and Fister hobbled off the mound, into the dugout and onto a training table. The right-hander was limped pretty severely afterward and will be evaluated again Saturday.

It's way too soon to tell what will happen to the rotation, and two off days next week could help Fister avoid the DL for the second time this season. The Rangers could manipulate their rotation so that Fister's spot doesn't come up again until June 19.

The Rangers have three starters in the minors who are on the 40-man roster — Yohander Mendez and Austin Bibens-Dirkx at Triple A Round Rock and Ariel Jurado at Double A Frisco. Fort Worth resident Yovani Gallardo is also at Round Rock and has pitched really well of late, but he doesn't have a 40-man spot.

Another thing working against him? The Rangers are in development mode and might lean to Mendez or Jurado first.

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