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MLB Texas Rangers

5 Prospects the Texas Rangers Should Target in Alex Rios Trade

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5 Prospects the Texas Rangers Should Target in Alex Rios Trade

Alex Rios Texas Rangers
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2014 MLB trade deadline fast approaching, Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels must decide whether bringing back Alex Rios or stockpiling premium pitching prospects is the best route to get Texas back into the pennant race next season. Rios is a productive right-handed bat who is hitting .300 with 33 extra-base hits. Here are five young hurlers with high upside who Daniels should target in a trade for the two-time All-Star.

5. RHP Michael Lorenzen, Cincinnati Reds

Michael Lorenzen Cincinnati Reds
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

5. RHP Michael Lorenzen, Cincinnati Reds

Michael Lorenzen Cincinnati Reds
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The 38th player taken in the 2013 MLB Draft, the 21-year-old former collegiate center fielder and closer is sporting a 2.70 ERA over 96 2-3 innings at double-A Pensacola. Lorenzen is a terrific athlete who is being developed as a starter, but could also become a closer. The Reds have a woeful offense that has been blanked 10 times this season and is currently missing both Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.

4. LHP James Paxton, Seattle Mariners

James Paxton Seattle Mariners
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

4. LHP James Paxton, Seattle Mariners

James Paxton Seattle Mariners
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Even with the recent reunion of Cuban slugger Kendrys Morales, Rios remains a good fit for the playoff-hunting Mariners. Paxton missed most of the first half of this season with a lat strain, but the 25-year-old is a talented southpaw with a mid-90s fastball and a solid breaking ball. The 6-foot-4 Futures Game alumni was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA over two starts with Seattle before heading to the disabled list.

3. RHP Kyle Crick, San Francisco Giants

Kyle Crick San Francisco Giants
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

3. RHP Kyle Crick, San Francisco Giants

Kyle Crick San Francisco Giants
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants are in need of a corner outfielder and have a well-stocked farm system of pitching prospects to get a deal done. Crick was a 2011 first-round supplemental draft pick who has quickly developed into a bona fide strikeout artist. The 21-year-old, who has fanned 98 in 81 2-3 frames at double-A Richmond this season, possesses a mid-90s fastball that is complimented with a swing-and-miss breaking ball.

2. RHP Miguel Almonte, Kansas City Royals

Citi Field 2013 Futures Game
William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

2. RHP Miguel Almonte, Kansas City Royals

Citi Field 2013 Futures Game
William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Another Futures Game alumnus, Almonte is the third-rated pitcher in the Royals' farm system -- but does not have the health issues that accompany the duo ahead of him. The 22-year-old mixes an above-average changeup with a mid-90s heater, and has an advanced feel for pitching at a young age. He has racked up 85 strikeouts while issuing only 29 free passes in 94 1-3 innings at single-A Wilmington this season.

1. RHP Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays

Aaron Sanchez Toronto Blue Jays
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

1. RHP Aaron Sanchez, Toronto Blue Jays

Aaron Sanchez Toronto Blue Jays
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays have not been bashful regarding a possible reunion with Rios, who would fill a huge need due to the injuries of Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie and Adam Lind. Sanchez, 22, opened the season ranked as the No. 32 prospect on Baseball America's Preseason Top 100 and is a power arm who throws a mid-to-upper-90s fastball and a sharp curveball. The 2010 supplemental first-rounder has all the tools to develop into a frontline starter.