Texas Rangers and changes that need to be made


Scooping the Texas Rangers banner

Norichika Aoki connects with a pitch.
Norichika Aoki’s name has popped up as a potential trade candidate for the Texas Rangers. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Texas Rangers can’t let the rest of the season play out without doing something about the makeup of this team.

With Yu Darvish hitting the disabled list, joining Nick Tepesch, Alexi Ogando, Matt Harrison, Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz, though seemingly at the exact right time, especially with the All Star break coming up, the Rangers’ front office has work to do.

Standing pat, or pulling another Ryan Dempster move, would be like waiving the proverbial white flag on the 2013 season. In other words, it the message to fans would be, “this year is going to be what it is, we’re playing for years beyond this one.”

While there might be nothing wrong with that in some eyes, there is a lot wrong with that in others – mine included.

With all the injuries this team has sustained, to only be a half game out of first place is nothing short of a miracle. Had you handed a list of names on the disabled list to the organization as a whole, and the fan base as well, and asked them to predict where the team would be at the All-Star break, most would tell you they would be pulling up the rear in the AL West.

Instead, they are within striking distance of the Oakland Athletics and in front of the all of a sudden hot Los Angeles Angels.

With two weeks left until the trade deadline, there are moves that need to be made in order for this team to get into the playoffs where anything can happen.

First of which is to change who plays left field. I have no problem with David Murphy as a person, it’s his offensive ability that is going to drag down the rest of the offense if they don’t do something in a hurry.

It’s not that Murphy can’t go on a hot streak, he’s shown that more than a few times over the last few years. But to those who say Murphy should remain in the lineup because of what he’s done in years past, I point you to the Michael Young scenario that played out last season. No matter how many times he failed, manager Ron Washington continued to run his veteran out there every day because of what he had done in years past.

Wash figured Young would eventually come around – he had to.

He didn’t.

I’ve talked at length about Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, and it’s no secret Texas has had scouts in Chicago to watch the team over the last few weeks. Another name I had on my last trade board was a guy who has already been with the team before: New York Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd.

While I admit Byrd was a longshot when I put him on my list, apparently Sports Illustrated’s Jay Jaffe agreed with me because he had the Texas Rangers acquiring either Rios or Byrd at the deadline. Apparently, contrary to the opinions of some, I’m not crazy after all.

Today we can add a brand new name to the list of possibilities. According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Texas Rangers have expressed interest in Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Norichika Aoki, who Morosi says would be “perfect for the Rangers.”

But it’s not just the lineup that could use a kick in the backside, the Texas Rangers have been watching Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, a guy they’ve liked since before he was acquired by Chicago from the Tampa Bay Rays a few years ago.

However, the asking price seems to be more than Texas would be willing to part with, but it hasn’t stopped them from having more than a single scout at his last start.

Other names that could come into play are right-hander Jake Peavy of the Chicago White Sox and right-hander Yovani Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Peavy, about to make a rehab start after being on the disabled list with a rib injury, would fit right into the rotation and wouldn’t cost Texas nearly as much in return as Garza or Gallardo would. You want to know that he’s healthy so it wouldn’t surprise anyone if scouts, who were watching the White Sox, were keeping their eyes on not only the aforementioned Alex Rios, but also on Jake Peavy and his progress coming off the disabled list.

Changes to this team need to be made, and the famous phrase “you have to give something to get something” will come into play before the July 31 trade deadline. There are players Rangers fans won’t want to give up. But, when push comes to shove, if you want to get better this season and beyond, especially with players still under team control for the next few seasons, a decision will be made as to what is more important.

Do you play for this season or do you play for seasons to come?

Or can you accomplish both?

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