The MLB Trade Deadline has passed, and despite all the rumors about possible Texas Rangers trades, the only deal of significance that went down was Chris Martin to the Atlanta Braves for Kolby Allard — a deal that was completed yesterday.
Hunter Pence and Mike Minor were both seen as prime candidates to be dealt, and Lance Lynn, Nomar Mazara and Jose Leclerc were mentioned in some rumors, but ultimately, the Rangers basically stood pat. The deal the Rangers did make today was a minor one to add international slot bonus money, which they need to sign Bayron Lara, one of their top J-2 targets from this year’s international free agent class.
I’m genuinely surprised that Hunter Pence wasn’t dealt. He’s a veteran on a cheap deal, is a free agent after this season, and multiple contenders were looking for a righty bat. And Pence’s presence means potentially fewer at bats for Nomar Mazara, Willie Calhoun and Shin-Soo Choo, who are sharing the COF/DH spots with him. While the Rangers clearly value his presence in the clubhouse, I didn’t figure that they would place a higher value on it than what he would fetch via a trade. It appears I was wrong.
Meanwhile, with Minor sticking around, it appears the Rangers plan to enter the 2020 season with Minor and Lynn at the front of their rotation. Texas has a number of interesting internal options that could compete for a 2020 rotation spot — Joe Palumbo, Kolby Allard, Taylor Hearn, Brock Burke, Adrian Sampson, Ariel Jurado — but as things stand now, they need to go out and get at least one, and probably two, established starters this offseason, either via trade or free agency.