The Rangers have acquired pitchers Lucas Harrell and Dario Alvarez from the Rangers for infield prospect Travis Demeritte, according to multiple major-league sources. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman first reported the deal.
Both Harrell and Alvarez were under-the-radar pickups for Atlanta in late May, as the Braves signed Harrell to a minor-league deal on May 20 and claimed Alvarez off waivers from the Mets on May 25. They were able to turn those two players into Demerritte, who MLB.com ranks as the 20th-best prospect in Texas’ system.
Texas has been on the lookout for pitching for much of the last month, and has been linked to many pitchers on both the high and low ends of the market. The Rangers will continue to evaluate all available options and are likely not done adding pitching, according to an industry source.
Harrell, 31, began the year with the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate before signing with Atlanta in May and posting a 3.38 ERA and 6.4 K/9 in five starts with the club. He will serve as a back-end rotation option for a Rangers team that is currently without starters Derek Holland and Colby Lewis.
Alvarez, 27, has posted a 3.00 ERA in 15 innings with the Braves since being claimed in late May. He previously had only five innings of major-league experience with the Braves over the last two years, and will join lefties Jake Diekman and Alex Claudio in the Rangers’ bullpen.
Demeritte, 21, was Texas’ first-round pick three years ago, being selected 30th overall. The Georgia native has experience at second base, shortstop and third base and has hit .272/.352/.583 with 25 home runs in 88 games with High-A High Desert so far this season.
Demeritte’s stock fell a bit due to an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs in 2015, but he is regarded as a five-tool player with above-average power. His long-term position is not clear, though he has worked primarily at second base throughout his minor-league career.