Just one little tweet Wednesday has changed the tone of Texas Rangers players — and not in a good way.
Mike Minor, the Rangers’ staff ace and a first-time All-Star a week ago, is more and more likely to be traded, the tweet from MLB.com reporter Jon Paul Morosi said.
A deal isn’t imminent, but the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers are said to be interested.
“It does piss us off,” Minor said.
He and his teammates don’t like the idea of the Rangers, who entered Wednesday five games above .500 and third in the race for the second wild card, suddenly becoming sellers at the July 31 trade deadline.
They believe they are a playoff team and want general manager Jon Daniels to add pieces at the deadline rather than part with the Rangers’ best players.
“We’ve been playing well all season,” Minor said. “Anytime that we lose a couple games, they’re supposedly ready to deal guys when we have 2 1/2 months left in the season.”
The Rangers had hoped Wednesday to avoid a two-game sweep to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who find themselves in a similar buy-or-sell quandary. But the Rangers were already down 12-0 by the middle of the second inning, and they eventually lost 19-4.
Daniels, for his part, said last week that he likely would not trade Minor, but also said that his job is to see what opportunities are out there for the Rangers. A trade for Minor could create some enticing opportunities to acquire young, controllable big leaguers or top minor-league prospects.
The left-hander would not be a rental for a contender, as there is one very affordable season ($9.5 million) remaining on the three-year, $28 million contract he signed late in December 2017.
“I feel like ever since I signed it’s been a topic,” he said. “It’s almost like I signed just so they could trade me.”
Manager Chris Woodward said that he will likely meet one-on-one with players whose names are mentioned in rumors, but it’s incumbent upon on him and the players to continue forging ahead as they have all season.
Even Woodward conceded that the idea of the Rangers trading away pieces isn’t the most pleasant idea.
“It is distracting, especially when the idea of us becoming sellers gets thrown out there,” Woodward said. “Players don’t want to hear that. They still have the belief in there that we’re going to win a World Series. I don’t want to ever take that away from them.”
Minor is scheduled to pitch Friday as the Rangers open a three-game series at Houston. He said he isn’t distracted by the trade rumors after going through it all offseason.
He said in spring training that he thought he was headed to the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Phillies and Brewers at various times in the offseason, but the right offer was never presented to Daniels.
But Minor said the constant reminders from the media can get annoying, especially since he does not want to be traded.
“I don’t think that it helps when I go home and I have neighbors asking me about it, too,” he said.
He will know one way or the other Aug. 1.