Texas Rangers trade deals contigent upon Chris Davis

Texas Rangers first baseman prospect Chris Davis will be showcased in the outfield during the month of July. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Texas Rangers could be ready to bring Chris Davis back to the big leagues, but it’s not to play first or even third base.

No, according to reports, Davis is going to see playing time in the corner outfield spots, with Josh Hamilton moving to center. Something that could make Rangers fans cringe after all the times Josh has run headlong into the outfield walls.

This is nothing more than the Rangers showcasing Davis for a possible trade at or before the July 31 trade deadline. Davis has seen time in the outfield with triple-A Round Rock, but if major league teams are interested in trading with Texas, they are going to watch him over the next few weeks to see how he handles the position change.

The knock on Davis, however, isn’t his defense; it’s when he grabs a bat and steps to the plate. He has a ton of holes in his swing and hasn’t had near the same success offensively that he’s shown in the minor leagues.

That being said, Davis is still very much a hot trade commodity and the Rangers know it. If he wasn’t, they would have no reason to bring him up and stick him in the outfield. They know the problems he’s had at the plate and the risk they’re taking in having him in the lineup on an everyday basis.

But the Rangers need to show that Davis is a serviceable big-league player because they themselves need to include him in a trade that would land them a big-time reliever or starter.

We have talked about a few names the Rangers could be looking at, but what we don’t know is which deal Davis would be included in.

The San Diego Padres aren’t going to do a one-for-one deal with Heath Bell or Mike Adams. They may not even be interested in Davis seeing as they already have young infielders Anthony Rizzo, Jesus Guzman and Kyle Blanks able to man first base.

So if it’s not Bell or Adams, where will Davis end up and what will he bring in return?

One deal I’ve talked about before on my podcast involves the Baltimore Orioles and right-hander Jeremy Guthrie.

This is a guy who could use a fresh start, especially since he’s spent his entire career with an Orioles team that has no chance of winning their division, let alone getting deep into the playoffs.

They are in need of an infielder like Davis and could send Guthrie to Texas without the Rangers having to give up a second player in the deal.

Also, the Chicago Cubs are about ready to waive the white flag on their season and could be willing to part with reliever Kerry Wood, again. The Cubs aren’t going to sell high on Wood and may send him to the American League on a one-for-one swap.

But there’s one name who the Rangers could, and should, look at and it’s another Chicago Cubs pitcher. Matt Garza was a guy who was brought to the windy city thanks to the aforementioned Wood, and it seems as if the Cubs could very well be open to dealing him in the right trade.

Garza is a guy who really became a young star with the Tampa Bay Rays, and it was one of the biggest reasons the Cubs landed him in free agency after the 2010 season.

He won a combined 34 games over three seasons with the Rays and never finished with an ERA worse than 3.95 during his time there.

This season hasn’t been nearly as good to him, but he has experience in the American League and he’s only 27-years-old (28 in November), so you’re getting a young pitcher who still has a lot of good years ahead of him.

There are more than a few names the Rangers will look at over the next month, but their ability to make a deal hinges on how Davis performs over the next month. If he struggles and his batting average takes a tumble, so will his trade value.

The Rangers are taking a definite risk, but one they could really cash in on if it pays off.

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