Trade Deadline: Will Texas Rangers go quietly?


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Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz leans away from a pitch.
With Nelson Cruz teetering on the edge of a suspension, should the Texas Rangers trade for another bat?

The Major League Baseball trade deadline is upon us, and everyone in North Texas wants to know, “who are the Texas Rangers going to acquire today?” The answer to that question could be a resounding, “nobody.”

Word out of Arlington before last night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels was “expect nothing.” That could come as a surprise to a lot of people, especially because there’s a looming suspension coming for home-run leader Nelson Cruz. Do the Rangers believe what they have is enough to overcome the loss of their biggest power hitter for the remainder of the 2013 season?

There are names available, but for what these teams are asking for in return, it would explain why the Rangers aren’t willing to give up that much for what most would call “average players.”

For those of you who have followed along for the last few months, you know I’ve had Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios toward the top of my trade deadline list. He’s not the impact bat the Rangers could be looking for, but I believe him to be an upgrade over what David Murphy is currently giving you. Not only that, but with Lance Berkman this close to retirement, they could also use another bat to fill the soon-to-be-vacated designated hitter spot.

There’s one glowing problem with acquiring Rios from Chicago. The White Sox, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark, are asking teams for two top prospects plus a lesser player. There aren’t many teams, if any, who would agree to that kind of return for a guy most don’t see as a huge improvement to their offense. You can add Texas to list of those who would balk at that price tag.

Other names that will make the rounds today are Marlon Byrd of the New York Mets, Hunter Pence of the San Francisco Giants and Kendrys Morales of the Seattle Mariners, but all three of those players will be free agents at the end of this season. The Texas Rangers aren’t going to bring in an offensive Matt Garza. In other words, they aren’t going to trade prospects away to any of those teams for a guy they know they won’t have past October of this year.

Surprisingly, Michael Young‘s name made the rounds yesterday, and it was even rumored he would only waive his full no-trade clause to return to the Texas Rangers. That became a big topic of conversation among Rangers fans, and even though there are those who think this team could use his “leadership,” they should realize this team traded Young away for a reason. That reason is not to bring him back less than a year later.

As you can probably tell by now, this won’t exactly be the most exciting trade deadline in recent memory. You can blame that entirely on Major League Baseball after creating a second wild card spot. Had that not happened, you’d be seeing teams like the Cincinnati Reds as well as the Baltimore Orioles selling off pieces of their roster instead of staying in the race because they currently own that aforementioned second wild card spot.

There is one thing to keep in mind today. Even when the trade deadline expires this afternoon, there are still trades to be made in August before the waiver-wire deadline. Today won’t be the last day for teams to improve their roster, and even if guys like Byrd, Rios and Pence aren’t traded today, it doesn’t mean they won’t be traded in August.

As for the Texas Rangers, it could be all quiet on the western front or they could go for the walk-off winner at the very last second. Kind of like their team has done the last two nights against the Angels.

Expect everything, but prepare for nothing.

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