Texas Rangers: trade

Rangers acquire LHP Blackley from Astros

August, 14, 2013
8/14/13
1:03
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers, looking to add pitching depth, acquired left-hander Travis Blackley from the Houston Astros on Wednesday in exchange for cash considerations.

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Blackley, outrighted by the Astros, has been assigned to Triple-A Round Rock. He will not be on the Rangers' 40-man roster.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday the club would look for protection for its big league pitching staff since starters Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis were lost for the season in the past week.

Team doctors decided Tuesday that Harrison, who had a pair of back surgeries in April and May, needed rest after three rehab starts caused elbow inflammation. Harrison was overcompensating because of the back issue, Daniels said. The 27-year-old Harrison is expected to be ready for spring training in 2014.

Lewis, 34, will have hip surgery next week in New York City. The Rangers are open to re-signing Lewis, who is a free agent at the end of the season.

Blackley, 30, has spent the entire season with the Astros organization. He is 1-1 with a 4.89 ERA for 42 relief appearances for Houston, allowing 10 home runs.

Blackley has eight career wins, four of them against the Rangers. The Australian native has held left-handed batters to a .231 average for his career.

What does Rios signing mean for Cruz, Murphy?

August, 9, 2013
8/09/13
3:36
PM CT


HOUSTON -- Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Friday that there are many layers to the addition of Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios.

One layer is the final 47 games of this season. The next is 2014.

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ESPN Dallas' Todd Wills joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to react to the Rangers' trade for Alex Rios and discuss how it impacts the team down the stretch.

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Rios, acquired by the Rangers on Friday along with $1 million for a player to be named later or cash considerations, provides a veteran right-handed bat who can help ease the pain of the loss of Nelson Cruz, the team's home run and RBI leader, for the regular season.

Rios can help win now by bringing pop with 12 home runs, speed with 26 stolen bases and a strong arm in right field with eight outfield assists.

"I don’t think the void that Nelson left can be filled," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "[Alex] is a solid baseball player, and we just want him to come up here and play his game. He fits in well. He fits in extremely well."

Rios, also signed for $13 million in 2014, gives the Rangers a pair of outfielders to build around next season along with emerging center fielder Leonys Martin. Cruz and left fielder David Murphy are both free agents at the end of the season.

There are many questions about whether the Rangers will bring back Cruz, starting with his suspension for 50 games for the Biogenesis case and whether club truly wants to bring him back. Another is the price that Cruz might command on the free-agent market.

"It certainly adds a layer to it for us," Daniels said. "Not only does he help us this year, but we have guys who are going to be free agents who play corner run producing players, so he certainly fits the bill for us going forward."

Washington and Daniels both repeatedly said Friday on a conference call that Rios is a good fit for the Rangers. White Sox manager Robin Ventura benched him recently for not hustling on the bases, but the Rangers believe their culture will take care of that.

Rios will join a strong former teammate in A.J. Pierzynski, and the Rangers don't have a history of players not playing hard for Washington.

Washington was asked if he's concerned about Rios.

"No, being in this environment," Washington said. "I don't know the reasons behind [what happened in Chicago]. It happens to a lot of players. But that isn't anything that's going to stop us from moving forward or Alex."

Price was right for Alex Rios

August, 9, 2013
8/09/13
2:35
PM CT


The Texas Rangers got a bat Friday, and they got it at a discount. It's a great move by general manager Jon Daniels and his staff, who picked up some offensive help at the price of a player to be named later, likely Leury Garcia, according to reports.

PODCAST
ESPN Dallas' Todd Wills joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to react to the Rangers' trade for Alex Rios and discuss how it impacts the team down the stretch.

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Alex Rios is now a Ranger. The right-handed-hitting outfielder from the White Sox has a .277 average. He's not the power hitter that Nelson Cruz is, but he has a solid track record at the plate and has added 26 stolen bases this season. The Rangers, who have done a nice job this week of attacking more on the bases and becoming more versatile on offense, get a guy who can fit right into that pattern.

Reports had the White Sox asking for two of the Rangers' top prospects back near July 31. Some reports said those two were Martin Perez and Luke Jackson, a ridiculous price for Rios. The Rangers, rightly, said no. But once the White Sox put Rios on waivers, the Rangers put in a claim and -- as the team with the worst record of those that put in the claim -- got the right to negotiate with the White Sox for 72 hours on a deal.

Chicago must have decided it didn't want Rios' long-term salary on the books and chose to at least get a player back in the process. Garcia showed he could play multiple positions and certainly has upside, but it's a deal that makes great sense for the Rangers to get an outfielder who isn't a rental.

With Cruz, who is suspended for the remainder of the regular season, and David Murphy set to be free agents at the end of the season, the Rangers are able to address an immediate need and think big-picture. Rios can slide right into an outfield spot next season, and the club has an option for 2015. A trade clause in his contract boosted his 2014 and 2015 salary, as well as the 2015 buyout, so he is owed $13 million next season and the remaining portion of his $12 million salary this season with a $2 million buyout for 2015. Still, I like this deal.

One scout described Rios as a 5-tool player, but with inconsistent use of those tools. He doesn't have the power of Cruz, but he does have speed and should be highly motivated coming to a winner in the midst of a pennant race. Yes, he isn't hitting home runs lately. But he's still getting hits and driving in some runs. Rios is not a guy you'll find working counts deep. But we've seen manager Ron Washington do a terrific job in finding the strengths of his players and utilizing them. He'll get the most that he can out of Rios. And it won't hurt to have former teammate A.J. Pierzynski in the Rangers' clubhouse too.

With Cruz out, I like this move. Do you?

Trade target: Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez

July, 22, 2013
7/22/13
10:00
AM CT
We are continuing our trade deadline series on the blog, titled "Trade Targets," which looks at some possible deadline acquisitions for the Texas Rangers and why they might or might not make sense for the club.


Today's target: Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez

OK. I get it. Gonzalez isn't technically a trade target. He's a free agent available right now -- apparently, he's ready to sign with a club this week, according to his agent -- for a team looking for a starting pitcher. Many scouts rave about Gonzalez with one telling me he's mid-90s on his fastball, can touch 96 mph and has a nice assortment of pitches, including a splitter to go along with a cutter/slider and changeup. This isn't a project. He might need one or two minor league starts, according to reports, and he'd be ready to go. MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez said in a recent story that scouts believe his addition would be "similar to acquiring a top pitcher" before the deadline.

He's 26 and could help the Rangers' rotation now and in the future. Some reports indicate it could cost as much as $60 million over five years. The Rangers have interest, but whether that extends to being able to outbid a gaggle of teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, remains to be seen.

If you're curious of Gonzalez's back story, here's part of Sanchez's story on him:
Gonzalez fled Cuba earlier this year, landed in El Salvador and worked out for a month in Mexico City before making his way to Tijuana. He began throwing full bullpen sessions in front of scouts twice each week this spring and later starred in a series of showcases with the Tijuana Toros.

He was granted free agency last month and secured an unblocking license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which allows him to sign with a Major League team, on Monday.

The appeal of it, from my standpoint, is that the club could add a starting pitcher without giving up any prospects. But it is a big-time financial commitment and there's plenty of competition to get him.

Would you take the chance, even if that means $60 million?

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