The non-waiver trade deadline has now passed, and for the second consecutive year the Rangers are turning heads and commanding the attention of teams across the league. They were busy wheeling and dealing down to the last few minutes of the deadline, ultimately landing two of the most coveted trade targets available. But with every acquisition there are costs. Let’s examine the impact of the moves made by the Rangers.
WHAT THE RANGERS GET
About 45 minutes prior to the trade deadline, the news came down that the Rangers had traded for Carlos Beltran, the veteran Yankee slugger who will immediately step in as the Rangers new homerun leader and designated hitter, replacing the void created by the absence of Prince Fielder. Beltran has an impressive slash line of .304/.344/.546, but he’s also a post-season beast, with a .332 average, 16 homeruns and 40 RBI’s over the 11 post-season series that he’s played.
Just before the deadline, the Rangers landed Lucroy, the most valuable position player available. Lucroy, 30, is batting .299 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs and will replace the Rangers weakest offensive link (Chirinos). He also immediately adds value to the pitching rotation via defense and his substantial game-management abilities. But the All-Star catcher comes with the added bonus of favorable contract terms, with a $4 million salary this year and a $5.25 million team option in 2017. Lucroy is already firing up Rangers fans, as seen in his latest tweet below.
Now, moving on to the @Rangers let's take this bad boy to the 'ship! Really excited and can't wait to get after it!
— Jonathan Lucroy (@JLucroy20) August 1, 2016
As part of the deal for Lucroy, the Rangers also received a very capable late reliever in Jeffress, a 28-year-old right-hander with a 2.22 ERA and a 2-2 record over 47 appearances. He should fit in nicely as the setup man for Sam Dyson and gives manager Jeff Banister a solid late-inning option out of the bullpen.
WHAT THE RANGERS LOSE
At first glance, it may shock some that the Rangers gave up the 4th overall pick from last years draft in order to obtain Beltran, a 39 year old with 3 months left on his contract, but Tate has been significantly losing value since he was drafted last June. His trouble began early on with decreased velocity (in the low 90’s) and merged into control issues once in the South Atlantic League (A-ball), where he has been working on mechanics to fix the issues. If able to make the corrections, Tate’s value will undoubtedly return to top-prospect status, which is what the Yankees are betting on.
NICK GREEN & ERIK SWANSON
In addition to Tate, Green and Swanson were included in the Yankees trade for Beltran. Both were 2014 draftees who haven’t been all that impressive since joining the farm and are likely destined to be middle relievers out of the bullpen, with no apparent potential for starting roles in the MLB.
LEWIS BRINSON & LUIS ORTIZ
This is were the Rangers begin to feel the pain from the trades, particularly if the moves fail to produce the World Series title that has been continually eluding them. Brinson, 22, was the Ranger’s top pick in 2012, has super-star tools and is expected to do great things at Center Field in the future. Ortiz, the 6′ 3″, 220 lbs. RHP has above average stuff, typically in the 95-97 MPH range, and will likely end up in the middle of someones rotation one day.
But what may be more important is what the Rangers didn’t lose. None of the trades involved anyone named Gallo, Profar or Mazara, so the Rangers came out as winners by setting themselves up as clear championship contenders without completely mortgaging the farm. As a Rangers fan, its exciting to see your team make bold moves in an effort to be competitive into October. Jon Daniels has improved the team substantially in the midst of a sellers market. Now lets see what this team can do.
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