By Illya Harrell on July 10, 2014
Texas Rangers trade rumors must have manager Ron Washington a bit worried. Crippled by injuries to key players, the season is a total wash for the Rangers. At 38-53, Washington's job is in jeopardy. They are obvious "sellers" at the trade deadline. Will Texas GM Jon Daniels merely move a few guys headed for free agency after the season or will he hold a full-fledged fire sale? Here are a few Rangers who fit both scenarios.
Texas reliever Jason Frasor is a free agent at the end of the season. He's posted solid numbers in his first two seasons with the club. Through July 1, he allowed only six earned runs and sported a 2.08 ERA. In his last four outings of 3.1 innings his trade value has plummeted, allowing earned runs in each game. The Detroit Tigers were interested, but unless he's packaged with another reliever he won't fetch more than a low-level prospect or two.
Relievers, especially lefties, are always on the move at the deadline. Neil Cotts is another guy who is up for free agency after the 2014 campaign. He's second on the team, behind Frasor, with nine holds. Detroit has inquired about his services as well.
Lights-out closer Joakim Soria's contract includes a 2015 team option. His trade depends on how strongly Rangers' brass think they'll be able to compete next season. The Detroit Tigers are also interested in Soria. If the Rangers packaged Soria and Cotts they could score a couple of highly-touted, near MLB-ready pitching prospects from the Tigers' triple-A affiliate, namely reliever Corey Knebel and starter Drew Verhagen.
If Texas decides it is "fire sale" time, Elvis Andrus could be on the move. He is signed through 2022, but the Texas farm has a few infield prospects. They don't have much in the way of starting pitching at either the major league level or in the minors. Even with his hefty contract, Andrus will be only 33 years old come 2022. Any team with a weakness at shortstop would be interested in gaining his long-term services. Andrus would be costly.
No way they'll deal the most popular guy on the team. Or would they? Through 2016, Yu Darvish is locked into a definite Texas contract, but check this 2017 clause. Darvish has a player option if he meets certain Cy Young vote thresholds through his contract. If the Rangers do decide it is time to rebuild, they could walk away with a mega-load of top prospects from a contending team with a rich farm. He'd look pretty sharp in a Pirates uniform.
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