The Texas Rangers weren’t the busiest team at the trade deadline last week, but they made some beneficial moves.
The club was able to ship off closer Joakim Soria for two highly touted pitching prospects and trade Jason Frasor for more starting pitching. Being 24 games under .500 and nowhere near playoff contention, Texas could still look to offload some older players.
Trade OF Alex Rios
Fortunately for the Rangers, their starting right fielder Alex Rios has already cleared waivers and did so on August 7.
The 11-year veteran has had an OK year despite the major dip in his home run total. He is hitting .293 and leads the American League with eight triples. Finding positive statistics is difficult after posting those numbers.
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Rios’ OPB is just 30 points higher than his batting average, thanks in large part to his aggressiveness and unwillingness to work the count. He has just 20 walks, which is six fewer than his career-low.
The biggest surprise is the measly four homers he has accumulated this season. In fact, he had six homers in 63 fewer games when he was acquired by the Rangers last season. This year’s total is the lowest for Rios since his rookie season, when he hit just one dinger.
Rios came over for 2B prospect Leury Garcia, and the club shouldn’t expect much more in return. Shipping the 1999 first-round pick out of Texas isn’t a priority, but it could save the Rangers $1 million next season if they decide to take their team option.
Trade LHP Neal Cotts
Neal Cotts isn’t putting up the same numbers he did last season, but he has still been one of Ron Washington’s most reliable options in the bullpen.
His numbers this season are still some of the best of his career, posting a 3.26 ERA in 49.2 IP and totaling 54 strikeouts. Cotts has finished 10 games for the Rangers and leads the club with 16 holds.
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There has been no word about the southpaw hitting the waiver wire yet, but there is at least one team interested in him. MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported on August 5 the Washington Nationals could look to acquire Cotts but that the Rangers haven’t received any deals worthy of their setup man.
If Cotts is claimed by the Nationals, then the Rangers could either try to do business or pull him back off of waivers. Like Rios, the 34-year-old won’t bring back the greatest value for the club, and Washington’s farm system doesn’t boast a high number of quality talent.
Also like his teammate, Cotts isn’t a priority to ship off, and according to Scott Sargent of ESPNDallas.com, Cotts has expressed interest in returning to Arlington. He is set to be a free agent in 2015 and would be a a cheap bullpen option for Texas if they decide to retain him.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com
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