At this point in the season, the 5th place Rangers are reeling and are looking for any kind of hope to cling on to. GM Chris Young and President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels will need to decide on a course of action this summer.
My advice? Time to make some moves with the pitching staff.
The pitching for the Rangers during the past 10 games has not been great, but Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy have been excellent this entire season.
Approaching the heart of the season, contenders will be looking for a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher or a strong bullpen piece to bolster a pitching staff.
Both would be prime players that could be moved at the trade deadline.
Gibson is 4-0 on the year but hasn’t had the most help on the offensive side. In 11 starts, the offense has been held to less than 5 runs scored in 6 of those games. Gibson is holding a solid 2.06 ERA so far, and with a 2.9 WAR, he’s proven to be the Rangers’ strongest and most effective pitcher other than Ian Kennedy and John King. Gibson has some control on his contract through 2022 left, so it’ll be more than a 3 month rental for any team willing to take a chance on the rejuvenated veteran.
Kennedy has 12 saves, John King has 5 wins, and these are 2 of the better relief pitchers the Rangers have, and they have the higher value in a trade right now that they are performing well. Sure, you have guys like Joely Rodriguez, Brett Martin, and Josh Sborz that could fetch you something solid as well, but with this rebuild, the aging pitchers are the ones you’d like to see go to make room for the youth in the organization.
Kennedy isn’t a long-term acquisition for any team as he’s only in town on a 1-year deal, so the return for him won’t be huge, but any AA-level prospect would be worth bringing in for the veteran closer.
Mike Foltynewicz is also a name you’d likely see pop up in rumors.
He hasn’t been good this year, obviously, so the value isn’t there. But if the Rangers get any kind of offer for him, they’d be inclined to listen due to the fact of his performance this season alone. There’s no telling if the Rangers will even get an offer, so Folty is more of a wild card in this case. Hope for an offer, but prepare for the rest of the season with him, or until he starts to improve a bit.
Sure, it may be premature to talk trades right now with the deadline over a month away, but good teams don’t wait until the last minute to make phone calls.
Don’t be surprised if the Rangers aren’t already fielding calls for what they have right now.
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