Texas Rangers rumors: Bobby Wilson? A relief pitcher? A bench bat? With today being what is colloquially referred to as the "waiver trade deadline" -- its actually the last day a team can acquire a player and have that player be eligible for the team's postseason roster -- I think we can expect a handful of minor moves around baseball, with the Rangers no doubt checking around for a spare part or two that could help over the final month and the playoffs.
For a player to be traded after July 31, he must have cleared revocable trade waivers. Pretty much every player in baseball ends up being put on waivers in the month of August, just in case, and the majority of players who have any value end up having claims put in on them (and then having that player's team pull them off of waivers). The players who do clear waivers generally fall into one of two categories -- players who are of the spare part variety, that teams don't bother putting in a claim on, and players whose contracts give them negligible or negative value.
The Rangers made one of each of those two types of deals last August, with spare part Will Venable coming over from San Diego, and the useful but overpaid Mike Napoli arriving (along with cash) from Boston.
It wouldn't be surprising if the Rangers made some sort of move today, and the one name that has been specifically mentioned in connection with the Rangers is former catcher Bobby Wilson. Wilson was designated for assignment when the Rangers acquired Jonathan Lucroy from the Milwaukee Brewers, and ended up getting claimed by the Tampa Bay Rays. Both Evan Grant and Gerry Fraley have suggested the Rangers may want to bring back Wilson as catching depth, due to his familiarity with the pitching staff and his pitcher-handling abilities. The Rangers' third catcher currently would be Brett Nicholas, who give them a nice lefty bat, but doesn't have the strengths that Wilson does when it comes to game management.
Its always possible the Rangers pick up a veteran bullpen piece, particularly someone from the left side...Alex Claudio has been a pleasant surprise this year, and Jake Diekman has been solid, but I suspect Jeff Banister wouldn't mind having a veteran lefthander available for spot duty that he would trust more than Dario Alvarez or Andrew Faulkner, both of whom are likely to come up in September.
The Rangers could conceivably look for outfield help, but having signed Carlos Gomez as a free agent, I'm not sure there's anyone they could get at this point who would deserve playing time in the corner outfield spots over the combination of Gomez, Ryan Rua, Delino DeShields, Jurickson Profar and Nomar Mazara.
Or...well, it isn't likely. Probably not even worth mentioning. But...Yasiel Puig was claimed on revocable waivers yesterday by an unknown team. That team is almost certainly not the Rangers. And even if it were the Rangers, the Dodgers are probably going to pull him back and try to trade him this offseason.
But hey...its possible, right?
UPDATE -- It was pointed out in the comments that, per Bob Nightengale, the ChiSox put in a claim on Puig, but didn't get him because a team with higher priority also put in a claim. That means no Puig for Texas. So talk about Bobby Wilson instead...