On Wednesday, the Texas Rangers became a top contender for the World Series. Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels pulled of his regular trade deadline magic. Daniels added two major bats to an already dangerous lineup. He also got another pitcher to help out a bullpen that has struggled this season. When the dust settled, the Rangers became the clear winners of the trade deadline.
Texas Rangers Win at 2016 Trade Deadline
What Are The Rangers Getting
The Rangers added a lot of offense their lineup today. Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy are immediate upgrades at their respective positions.
Beltran will move into the designated hitter position, replacing Prince Fielder. Fielder struggled this season before finally going to the DL to end his season. Beltran is having one of the best seasons of his career, with a batting average of .305, an OBP of .344, twenty-two home runs, and sixty-four RBI. Fielder was having one of his worst seasons, with an average of .212, OBP of .292, eight home runs, and forty-four RBI. Beltran also adds switch hitter to the middle of the lineup. This allows him to play against both lefties and righties everyday.
By adding Beltran into the lineup behind Ian Desmond and Adrian Beltre, the Rangers three, four, and five hitters are now the best in baseball. There wasn’t a pitcher in the majors who wanted to face the Rangers before, and much less now with Desmond, Beltre, and Beltran. Oh, and the Rangers are only going to pay 2.5 million of Beltran’s contract.
Jonathan Lucroy was the most sought after player on the trade market in the weeks building up to the deadline. Many thought that the Rangers were a long shot and would have to sell the farm to get him. Lucroy is the currently one of the best catchers, both offensively and defensively, in baseball. He is an extreme improvement to a position that the Rangers have been weak at for the last few seasons.
Lucroy will replace Robinson Chirinos as the starting catcher for the team. Chirinos will become the back up. Coming over with Lucroy is relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress. Jeffress was the Brewers closer this year, and will be a welcome addition to the Rangers bullpen which has struggled in recent weeks. Sam Dyson will remain the closer for the team, with Jeffress becoming the setup man. If Dyson should struggle or fall to injury, Jeffress is available to fill in.
What The Rangers Gave Up
Many thought that it would take players like Jurickson Profar, Joey Gallo, or even Rougned Odor to get a big name added to the lineup. Daniels declared in the weeks coming up to the deadline that Profar was not an option, and that it would take quite a bit to get Gallo. This left fans to wonder what Daniels was planning on doing. Well, he finally did something, and it was amazing to watch.
In his deal with the Yankees, Daniels gave up minimal. The main piece in the trade was Dillion Tate. Tate was the fourth overall pick of the 2015 MLB draft. To this point of the season he has been nothing but a disappointment in Class A ball. Tate’s era is an awful 5.12 in seventeen games. He has given up forty runs, eighty-one hits, and thirty walks, while only recording sixty-three strikeouts.
Going to New York with Tate are Erik Swanson and Nick Green. Swanson has bounced around the Rangers farm system for the last two seasons. Still relatively young, he has a lot to prove before he ever sees Major League action. Green was the third player in the trade. Like Swanson, he has also bounced around the Rangers minor league system.
One could say Jon Daniels stole Carlos Beltran from the New York Yankees. He gave them three unproven minor league players, and got the Yankees to pay for most of Beltran’s contract. Daniels won the trade game with Brian Cashman today.
The Rangers gave up a lot more to the Milwaukee Brewers to get Lucroy and Jeffress. Leading up to the deadline many speculated that Gallo was going to be the centerpiece of the deal. Daniels proved that speculation proved to be wrong, as the Rangers sent Lewis Brinson, Luis Ortiz, and a player to be named later to the Brewers.
Brinson and Ortiz were the Rangers number two and three prospects before being traded. Brinson was having a relatively good season for the Double-A Frisco Rough Riders. Brinson was batting .375 with an on base percentage of .343. He also had forty RBI and forty-six runs scored. He isn’t quite ready for the big leagues yet, but the Brewers got some great potential in Brinson.
Ortiz played alongside Brinson in Frisco. He started eight games for the Rough Riders this season, and was far from remarkable. He takes an era of 4.08 with him to the Brewers farm system, and a win-loss record of 1-4 on the season. Ortiz still has room to grow, and has a lot to prove make it to the big league roster for the Brewers.
Jon Daniels is becoming more and more of a trade deadline legend. Acquiring names big names at the last moment has become what he is known for. Ranger fans should never worry about when Daniels is going to make his move. History has proven he knows a thing or two about pulling off big deals.
The Rangers became the best team in the American League today, and possibly the best team in all of baseball. Get ready, Ranger fans. October is going to be a long, fun ride.