August 10, 2022

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3 things Rangers should do before Deadline

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This story was excerpted from Kennedi Landry’s Rangers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ANAHEIM — Are the Rangers buyers or sellers at this year’s Trade Deadline?

It seems like it’s maybe neither. After two straight years of fire sales at the Deadline, the Rangers may not be in a position for a playoff spot, but they’re definitely not on pace to lose 100 games again this year. When asked how different the roster may look next week, manager Chris Woodward was honest in admitting some things could shake up the clubhouse.

“Maybe a little different, but, I wouldn’t expect it to be vastly different,” Woodward said. “I’m not speaking for [president of baseball operations Jon Daniels] or [general manager Chris Young], but I just don’t think we’re in the position that we were in the last couple of years. If something happens where we lose a piece or add a piece, we’re still in a position to win.”

Dominos have already fallen. Andrew Benintendi to the Yankees, Luis Castillo to the Mariners and other lower profile trades. But the Rangers have stood pat so far, despite rumored interest in Castillo. So what will they do in the next 48 hours?

Here are three things the Rangers could (or should) do by the time Tuesday at 5 p.m. CT rolls around.

Get a starter, literally any starter
The Castillo domino has already fallen, but there are still a number of pitchers available at the Deadline. Young and controllable are the preferences, but if, say, the Angels are willing to deal Noah Syndergaard — who is on a one-year, $21 million deal — then the Rangers could no doubt use him down the stretch this season before trying to re-sign him in the offseason.

While the offseason signings of Jon Gray and Martín Pérez have paid off, the rest of the Rangers rotation — young starters Dane Dunning, Spencer Howard, Taylor Hearn and Glenn Otto — haven’t quite taken the step forward that Texas wanted or expected.

The question then becomes what prospect capital the Rangers are willing to spend at the Deadline. The Mariners gave up three of their top-five prospects, per MLB Pipeline, for Castillo and while he was the best on the market, upgrades won’t come cheap.

Luckily for Texas, the farm system is recently rejuvenated and they can even package some combo of the plethora of infield prospects — including but not limited to Justin Foscue, Luisangel Acuna, Jonathan Ornelas and Davis Wendzel — to get a solid starter.

Trade Matt Moore
According to executive reporter Mark Feinsand, the relief market is going crazy at this year’s Deadline. Rangers lefty Matt Moore may be the only definite piece to get moved come Tuesday.

Moore has been phenomenal on a one-year, $2.5 million deal where he completely turned around his numbers from the year prior. After a 6.29 ERA in 24 games (13 starts) in 2021, Moore has a 1.66 ERA in 36 appearances this season. He’s been effective against both lefties (.564 OPS) and righties (.530 OPS) and would be a solid bullpen upgrade for any contending team. He’s a free agent after this season, so Texas should no doubt try to secure a prospect in exchange for the 33-year-old.

Trade to get Joey Gallo back from the Yankees
This one might be just a little bit far-fetched, but it’s hard to ignore. Just over a year ago to the day, the Rangers dealt homegrown star Joey Gallo to the Yankees for four prospects. Ever since, there’s been talk of Gallo returning to Texas, mainly because he’s a free agent at the end of this season.

But there’s no doubt that Gallo’s days in pinstripes are numbered, especially after a .159/.282/.339 slash line in 82 games for New York this season. The Yankees already traded for outfielder Andrew Benintendi and have little use for Gallo as a bench bat at this point.

If the Yankees are willing to sell cheap on the two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover, the Rangers should be in contention for it.

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