Having lost one of their best players (along with quite a other key names), the Texas Rangers are in a bit of a precarious situation. Currently just 23-25 (their pythagorean record is 20-28) and 6.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics in the AL West, Texas is facing long odds to reach the postseason for the first time this decade. According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, if the Rangers fall far enough out of contention, they may be inclined to trade away some of their veteran assets, particularly the likes of Alex Rios, Joakim Soria, and Elvis Andrus.
Both Rios and Soria are intriguing trade options since the Rangers carry 2015 team options on both. Of course, Texas would receive a much more bountiful return this summer compared to next when the receiving team would only be acquiring half a season's worth of control. The two are also performing quite well despite the team's poor performance, with Soria posting a 2.25 ERA and 10.5 K/BB in 16 innings, while Rios is hitting .308/.340/.459 with a 113 wRC+. Both could also be easily replaced since relievers are among the more facile players to acquire and 24-year-old Michael Choice is a much younger and cheaper alternative to Rios.
Along the same lines as Soria, relievers Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts could also see themselves dealt in the coming months, since they are each impending free agents.
Rosenthal's mention of Andrus as a possible trade candidate is quite fascinating considering the Rangers locked him up to an eight-year, $120 million extension only last year, and the club traded away Ian Kinsler last offseason to clear way for a long-term double play combo of Andus and Jurickson Profar (currently injured). Andrus, who is an outstanding defender, is struggling at the plate for the second consecutive year, currently holding a .245/.309/.337 (78 OPS+) batting line after hitting just . 271/.328/.331 (82 OPS+) last season. As Rosenthal notes, Texas has a surplus of young middle infielders in the organization, including Luis Sardinas, Chris Bostick, top prospect Rougned Odor, and Profar. Moving Andrus would allow the Rangers to move Profar back to his natural position of shortstop, while simultaneously giving Odor, a second baseman, a full-time gig.
Of course, Texas could decide to go all in and sign Kendrys Morales to give themselves a much-needed middle-of-the-order power hitter. With the draft just a couple of weeks away, it's unlikely that the Rangers sign Morales before then, as to not give up the 30th overall selection. Singing Morales could also give the Rangers another asset to flip at the trade deadline if things go awry.
On Thursday, ESPN's Keith Law suggested that the Rangers may be best served trading away All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre (Insider only), citing a potentially exceptional return package and third base prospect Joey Gallo's thumping of High-A pitching (he's hitting .333/.456/.771 with 18 home runs in 195 plate appearances). However, Rosenthal hears that the prospect of the Rangers dealing Beltre is "borderline impossible".