SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are almost always buyers when it comes to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and that will very likely be the case this upcoming season.It would seem premature to worry about the Trade Deadline when the Rangers have yet to set their Opening Day roster.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are almost always buyers when it comes to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and that will very likely be the case this upcoming season.
It would seem premature to worry about the Trade Deadline when the Rangers have yet to set their Opening Day roster. But as much as people like to predict winners and losers before the first game is played, it's often the team that improves the most during the season that ends up advancing deep into the postseason.
The Rangers showed that with the midseason acquisition of Cliff Lee in 2010, Cole Hamels in 2015, and Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran last year.
The Rangers' farm system isn't what it once was, but there is still enough talent down there for the club to be in a position to pull something off again this summer. Besides, who knows what talent will emerge?
Starting pitching is always a favorite target, but needs will be determined as the season progresses. It only takes one injury to alter circumstances.
Then again …
The best laid plans often go astray and the unthinkable happens. The Rangers could drop out of contention so quickly that the postseason fades as a possibility. It happened to the Rangers in 2014.
If that were to happen again …
The Rangers would be in position to have the fire sale of all fire sales.
Lucroy, Yu Darvish, Mike Napoli, Tyson Ross, Andrew Cashner and Carlos Gomez can all be free agents after the season. Hamels' contract is up after 2018. If the Rangers go into steep decline, they could be moving potential free agents left and right.
Yes, it would take a dramatic set of circumstances for all of that to happen.
But who knows what happens in the course of a season?
Most likely general manager Jon Daniels will be working the phones again come July, trying to reinforce another run to the World Series.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.