Currently sitting 11.5 games back in the AL West, the Rangers seem to be conceding the obvious: they're not contenders this year and may be better served if they move some key assets at the trade deadline. According to a report from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, general manager Jon Daniels has begun to assess the trade value of some of the team's "core-type" players to see if he would benefit from shopping them on the trade market this season.
Grant lists Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre, Alex Rios, Joakim Soria, and even Yu Darvish as potential trade candidates for the Rangers moving forward. A Darvish deal seems like a longshot, but teams would likely give up huge prospect value for a pitcher who most believe is among the top five arms in the majors.
Andrus, a middle infielder, is due to be displaced by top prospects Jurickson Profar and Rougned Odor within the next couple of years. He would be an attractive trade chip to shop to contenders like the Athletics or Tigers who could use some shortstop help, but his massive contract could serve as a roadblock in trade discussions. Andrus is owed $120M over the next eight seasons as a result of the contract extension he signed with Texas in April 2013.
Rios, who has a $13.5M team option in his contract for next season, has played very well for the Rangers since being acquired in a trade last August. The 33-year old is currently hitting .319, and could be of interest to the multiple teams who could use offensive help in the outfield.
Beltre, 35, is under contract through next season and has a vesting option for 2016. The emergence of prospect Joey Gallo may force him out of his position at third base, and teams would likely be willing to pay a huge price for Beltre, who is widely considered one of the best third basemen in the game.
While nothing is close in terms of deals involving their key players, the Rangers are wise to explore the market to see the kinds of value they could get for players like Andrus, Beltre, Rios, Soria or Darvish. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the team becomes as they try to get younger and capitalize on a lost season by moving some pieces.