MLB Trade Deadline Talk, Part I
All right, we’re at the MLB trade deadline — let’s try a Trade Deadline Part I today based on what we know, and we’ll do Part II tomorrow after today’s action.
If you’ll forgive me (and even if you won’t): We’re exactly five weeks away from the release of WHY WE LOVE BASEBALL. If you preorder the book, you can get exclusive bonus content delivered directly to your email, which is super-fun. All you have to do is sign up here. And now, let’s get to the trade talk!
The Rangers Are Going For It
July 30: Rangers trade pretty good prospects Thomas Saggese, Tekoah Roby and John King to the Cardinals for Jordan Montgomery and Chris Stratton.
July 29: Rangers trade top-50 prospect (and Ronald Acuña Jr.’s brother) Luisangel Acuña to the Mets for Max Scherzer and a bunch of money.
June 30: Rangers trade long-range prospects Cole Ragans and Roni Cabrera to Kansas City for Aroldis Chapman.
Let’s take a moment to consider the Texas Rangers. In 2021, they lost 102 games. They had a bottom-third minor league system for, like, the fifth straight year. Their best player was probably the mercurial Joey Gallo, and they traded him midseason to the Yankees for four mid-level prospects.
Then, in a crazy offseason, they spent $500 million to get their new double-play combination of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager, and another $56 million on a 30-year-old, one-time super pitching prospect named Jon Gray. This hardly seemed like a winning formula to most people around baseball; the Rangers improved by eight wins in 2022, but that hardly seemed worth the price tag.
Then, this past offseason, they doubled down, spending $37 million a year on the oft-injured phenomenon Jacob deGrom, and they lured 67-year-old Bruce Bochy out of semi-retirement to manage the club.
Do you remember the scene in “Stripes” where John Candy is playing poker with Judge Reinhold and John Diehl in the barracks? I think about that scene all the time; Diehl, who is one of those guys you see in EVERYTHING, plays a character named Cruiser, and he doesn’t know how to play poker.