Thursday newsletter time: Rangers slipping further out of contention ahead of long trip to open second half
(AP Photo/Jim Rassol)
A team that has fallen eight games below .500 and to eighth place in the wild-card standings could use a long homestand to open baseball’s second half.
Instead, the Rangers have the following travel itinerary coming out of the All-Star break.
Love Field to Miami, Miami to San Francisco, San Francisco to Seattle, Seattle to Anaheim, and Anaheim to home.
The Rangers woke up this morning in Miami for the first game of an 11-game, four-city road trip.
The trip, of course, didn’t originally include Miami, but the second-half opener is the first of three games against the Marlins postponed because of the MLB lockout. The Rangers will return to Miami on Sept. 12 for a doubleheader on a mutual off day that, for the Rangers, falls between a five-game homestand against Toronto and Oakland.
Right-hander Jon Gray will start the opener for the Rangers, who at 41-49 are 7 1/2 games out of the third wild-card spot. Tampa Bay, Seattle and Toronto hold the three wild-card spots, and Boston, Cleveland, Baltimore and Chicago are the four hopefuls ahead of the Rangers.
Hope is a good thing, as Andy Dufresne reminds us, but the Rangers are running thin on it with 73 games remaining.
The road trip ends July 31, two days before the Aug. 2 trade deadline. The Rangers are likely to be active, and could be both sellers and buyers.
Some quality young arms and one of the premier players in baseball are thought to be on the trade market, and they are controllable beyond this season. The Rangers are on the record as saying they are looking for players who could help nudge them closer to playoff contention next season.
Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas are hard-throwing right-handers who could take a rotation spot, and Juan Soto could take over left field for the next 15 seasons.
It won’t be easy to get that level of player, but the Rangers are as equipped as any team in baseball to acquire premium talent at the deadline. Remember: One of the reasons teams build a robust farm system is for trades.
The Rangers’ farm system is robust.
Something could shake out on their marathon trip coming out of the All-Star break.
Benefit of losing Reks
In what goes down as an unexpected transaction, at least to me, Triple A outfielder Zach Reks is headed to Korea.
Reks is headed to the Lotte Giants, reportedly to take the roster spot created when the Giants released outfielder DJ Peters. Yes, the same DJ Peters who played for the Rangers last season.
The departure of Reks, who spent time this season with the Rangers, comes after he was taken off the 40-man roster to make room for Jonathan Hernandez.
It does free up a clogged outfield at Round Rock.
(Editor’s note: I screwed up initially, forgetting Reks had been DFA’d. That’s what I get for taking a day off.)
There’s one rule about Rangers Today and the All-Star break: There is no All-Star break at Rangers Today. We stayed busy while most players hit Miami or played some golf. I drove past a driving range. No complaining here. We’re still knocking out more quality content than any other outlet, stuff that you can find anywhere else. That will become evident (if it wasn’t already) over the next few days and weeks. For now, here’s our latest in case you missed it
Rangers farm report: Outfielder missing out
The Rangers, after landing both Kumar Rocker and Brock Porter. Enjoy. See you Friday.
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Jeff Wilson, email@example.com