The Rangers are an organization with plenty of prospects and plenty of valuable players. Any of these players are potential trade bait for missing pieces for other teams.
FoxSports's Jon Morosi confirms the Rangers trade stance.
But, this does not mean the Rangers are shopping all their prospects and players around. They are willing to part with them, but this would most likely happen deep in trade talks. In fact, per Jim Bowden of ESPN, the Rangers are yet to have had any substantial trade talks involving star players such as Elvis Andrus.
The Rangers are looking for a bat. What exactly should a bat qualify as? Any hitter that can be inserted into the lineup in the No. 3 through No. 6 position.
With a mentality that no one is safe within the ballclub, here are moves the Rangers could and should make.
The first name the Rangers should go after is Edwin Encarnacion. A name that was once linked to the subject of trade last year, Encarnacion and the Toronto Blue Jays don't appear to be making any playoffs this year.
The Blue Jays have some of the worst pitching in the MLB. As of July 31, they rank 29 out of 30 in team ERA. But, on the other side of the ball, the Blue Jays are seventh in runs scored and second in home runs. However, this combination has not produced in terms of winning, and the Blue Jays currently sit fifth in the AL East.
Encarnacion was the subject of trade talks during the 2012 MLB trade deadline but he didn't end up on another team after signing a contract extension before the deadline. Now, at the 2013 MLB trade deadline, the Rangers have inquired about the Blue Jays first baseman.
CBS Sports's Danny Knobler reported in a July 26 article that the Rangers have looked into Encarnacion.
The Rangers continue to think big, recently sending a scout to watch Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays. A deal for either of the two Toronto sluggers was described as unlikely, but the interest shows the level of player the Rangers are looking for.
Encarnacion has been crushing the ball this season, quickly approaching 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. He's also the cleanup hitter for the Blue Jays, protecting slugger Jose Bautista. But, as the Rangers once knew in the mid-2000s, hitting with no pitching doesn't equate to playoffs.
For Encarnacion, the Blue Jays will want a bevy of young arms with close to immediate impact. Players such as Martin Perez and Robbie Ross could make a name for themselves in Toronto.
How about Tanner Scheppers?
Scheppers has been the reliable right-handed arm out of the bullpen for the Rangers this season (except for his July 30 outing). He hasn't been considered as a starting pitcher in Texas. But he could provide the Blue Jays with a solid starting pitcher option if he can make the transition back to the role.
Jurickson Profar Must Go
Bold, but Jurickson Profar must go. The Rangers made it clear that they are playing to for the World Series, this year or next, after trading for Matt Garza. And with Garza set to be a free agent, why let his best season go to waste, even if he may or may not re-sign.
Profar has been riding the bench. After spending significant time in the MLB this season, he is no longer a top prospect in the minor league system. Still, his value is sky high.
But according to Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, "Playing Profar at multiple positions has hurt his development."
And if Profar isn't ready to make a valuable contribution to a World Series run, why keep him around? For next year? What happens in 2014 if he's still being bounced around from position to position?
The questions will continue to add up.
Profar will face arbitration in three years. There's no guarantee that he'll stay with whatever team he's on at the end of arbitration negotiations.
Here's two conclusions to trading Profar.
Trade conclusion No. 1: Profar pans out. He has three great years of All-Star caliber baseball, but never has the supporting cast to make the playoffs. Profar doesn't reach a new deal during arbitration and enters the free agency as a top player. The Rangers can make an offer to bring him back as he enters the free-agent market in approaching his prime.
Trade conclusion No. 2: Profar doesn't pan out. He has three mediocre years on a team that is always in "rebuilding mode". He never hits for an average above .250 and general manager Jon Daniels proves once again why he should be considered as the best GM in baseball.
The infield is full and the Rangers want to win now. If Profar isn't developing properly as an outfielder, why not make the trade for a high-caliber, starting outfielder?
Michael Cuddyer is also another possible trade target if the Rangers are still considering trading Joe Nathan. Check out how they could land him in this article, here.
What do you think the Rangers should and could do? Feel free to leave a comment below.
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