During the past week, as Major League baseball was grinding its way past the mid-point of the regular season,the 2-time defending American League champion Texas Rangers suffered their longest losing streak of the season, as they lost five straight. They still lead their division, but that lead is tenuous as the hard charging LA Angels are nipping at their heels.
Baseball takes its annual “All-Star” break next week, and the Rangers, along with numerous other teams, will come out of the break with hard decisions to make. Do you become a buyer, or seller, or just play the hand that you have?
Two years ago, Texas was able to acquire Cliff Lee before the trading deadline, and the move helped them to their first American League pennant. Last year, they bolstered their bullpen, the main deal being to get Mike Adams from San Diego. That move helped in getting them to within 1 strike of winning the World Series.
This year, they picked up veteran Roy Oswalt a few weeks back, but they are still looking for more pitching.
The question always is, how much of the future do you give up to win now? Texas is a veteran laden team, built for today. After the season, position players Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, & Mike Napoli, as well as starting pitcher Colby Lewis are all free agents.
I’m not saying that this year is must win, or do or die, but the Rangers window of opportunity isn’t open forever.
With the rumored availability of Cole Hamels from Philadelphia, or Zach Greinke from Milwaukee, I wouldn’t be too surprised if General Manager Jon Daniels is actively pursuing one of these pitchers, or even more probable, going after someone who we don’t even know is available.
The Rangers, as well as the Angels, have taken their place right along side of the Yankees & Red Sox as movers & shakers as far as making deals at the trade deadline.
Look for a deal or two in the not too distant future.