Rangers GM Jon Daniels updates trade market
The trade market gained considerable pace Wednesday afternoon with the trade of superstar shortstop Manny Machado and Thursday’s trade of left-handed reliever Brad Hand.
But like anything that is assigned a deadline, sometimes the business isn’t completed until the final minutes. The Texas Rangers’ trade of Yu Darvish last season is a shining example.
That said, only 11 days remain until the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, and the Rangers are listening to a variety of offers. Not all pertain to the players who are expected to be moved — Adrian Beltre, Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman.
The Rangers are keeping an open mind this trading period, as the should. They are in a development mode, hoping to restock the farm system while also hoping to acquire players who are major-league ready.
“You never know at this time of year,” general manager Jon Daniels said Thursday. “We’ll have a lot of conversations. Most, ultimately, won’t lead to deals, but our goal’s to flush things out and see what makes sense to us long term.”
The Rangers have already made one trade for the future, though it falls into a category Daniels described as nontraditional. They agreed July 8 to send a player to be named or cash to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Austin Jackson, reliever Cory Gearrin and pitching prospect Jason Bahr.
The Rangers essentially bought Bahr, a right-handed starter, by taking on the $4.3 million left on Jackson’s salary. They designated Jackson for assignment last week and released him a few days later.
But Daniels said there have also been the conversations that are what a seller like the Rangers would expect, as contenders’ needs line up with what the Rangers have available. So far, the Rangers’ relievers have been getting the most action.
“There’s some conversations that make a lot of sense and that are going to happen,” Daniels said. “There’s more nontraditional deals like we did, and smaller deals where teams might not be looking for their closer or a front-line starter but a quality big-league player to fill out their roster.
“We’re having conversations across the board, and some conversations, too, that are more talent for talent, prospect for prospect that don’t necessarily fit into the buyer/seller category.”
The majority of the current Rangers spent Thursday night at Globe Life Park shaking off any rust from the All-Star break. Notable veterans, like Beltre, Hamels and All-Star Shin-Soo Choo, were among those excused.
The season resumes Friday night against the Cleveland Indians, who acquired Hand in a trade with the San Diego Padres. The Rangers just finished playing Machado in Baltimore, and he will visit Arlington in late August with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As things stood Thursday, the Rangers weren’t closing in on a major deal, though they traded reliever Jesse Chavez to the Chicago Cubs for pitching prospect Tyler Thomas. But as Daniels often says, the next phone call could lead to a deal.
“Teams have a pretty good idea of what they’re looking to do, especially if you’re a buyer,” Daniels said. “It makes sense to move more quickly and have the players’ service for longer in the season.”