By Alex Moss on July 11, 2014
After getting swept in a recent four-game series by the Houston Astros, the Texas Rangers find themselves in the cellar of the AL West. The depleted Rangers have finally succumbed to multiple injuries to their squad and look to be out of contention in a deep division. Texas should look to begin planning for 2015 and cash out some of its more valuable players for prospects at the trade deadline.
In an era in which pitching dominates, Adrian Beltre’s ability to both hit for power and average is incredibly valuable. One of the most productive infielders on offense, Beltre could fetch a steep price at the trade deadline, should the Rangers want to expedite their rebuilding process. The 35-year-old third baseman’s age and hefty contract would be more suited for a contender than a rebuilding team, after all.
Acquired from the Chicago White Sox before last season’s trade deadline, Alex Rios has shown that he can provide a lift for a contending team in the second half of the season. Rios’ combination of contact hitting, speed and superb defense in right field undoubtedly could provide a boost for a number of contending teams, many of which have depleted outfields due to injury.
Donnie Murphy’s value stems from his ability to effectively play at first, second and third base. Contending teams often look to upgrade their utility men or add versatile players to hedge against injuries to their starting lineups. While he doesn’t necessarily hit for average, Murphy has exhibited glimpses of big-time power; in just 149 at bats with the Chicago Cubs last season, Murphy launched 11 home runs.
Former All-Star closer Joakim Soria could provide a solution to the closer woes of a handful of contending teams. Texas, however, has less need for Soria, with fireballer Neftali Feliz set to return from a stint in the minors soon. Although Feliz has struggled a bit this season, he is younger, cheaper and with higher upside than Soria; therefore, the Rangers could afford to move Soria and receive younger talent at other positions.
Left-handed power hitters like Mitch Moreland are an uncommon and valuable asset. Moreland’s niche talent could provide an answer for contending teams looking to upgrade at the DH spot or create a viable platoon at first base. While Moreland’s power has been down this season thus far, it has been consistent for the past few seasons and is likely to reappear during the season’s second half.
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