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Questions facing Rangers ahead of Deadline

Will Texas be buyer, seller or something in between?
@Sullivan_Ranger
July 26, 2019

OAKLAND -- The Rangers, going into Friday night, were 6-13 for the month of July. Manager Chris Woodward said the uncertainty of the impending Trade Deadline has had a definite impact on his club. “I think it did,” Woodward said. “I think it does with every ball club. Some teams

OAKLAND -- The Rangers, going into Friday night, were 6-13 for the month of July. Manager Chris Woodward said the uncertainty of the impending Trade Deadline has had a definite impact on his club.

“I think it did,” Woodward said. “I think it does with every ball club. Some teams maybe in a better position, they don’t worry about it. … [They're] not waiting around. We are in the middle ground, there is a lot of uncertainty, we don’t know which way we are going to go. It’s probably hardest on a team like us. It is what it is. It sucks. You lose eight in a row. In that stretch, we go from being in contention to being a little bit out of it.”

Woodward said there is much uncertainty around the club because nobody knows if the Rangers are going to be buyers, sellers or somewhere in between.

Here is what the Rangers are juggling with five days to go:

What will happen with Mike Minor?
The Rangers could wait until Wednesday’s deadline to deal Minor, as they did two years ago when Yu Darvish was traded to the Dodgers in the final minutes. The Yankees have pitcher Deivi Garcia and outfielder Clint Frazier. The Braves have top pitching prospects right-handers Kyle Wright and Ian Anderson.

That’s the talent level the Rangers need to get in return for Minor. There is also a strong logical argument to be made that the Rangers should keep Minor, who is signed for next year at $9.5 million.

“You’ve got guys that are performing at a high level, that are filling a need that we need now and we’re going to need going forward,” Daniels told 103.5 The Fan. “We need more pitching, not less, ultimately.”

Will the Rangers trade Hunter Pence or Danny Santana?
Pence is the logical candidate to be traded. He is a veteran right-handed bat, a proven winner and a free agent after the season. He could be a boost for any contender, and there is little reason for the Rangers to keep him if they can get a decent return. The Rangers could use those at-bats for other players, especially Willie Calhoun, who are more clearly a part of their future.

How Santana has suddenly entered the trade discussions makes little sense. His .930 OPS is the seventh highest in the American League for players with at least 250 at-bats. He is 28 and can't be a free agent until after the 2021 season. The Rangers really don’t need to thinking about trading one of their best players.

What about their relievers?
Right-hander Chris Martin is certainly attracting attention. He has a 1.53 ERA and a 0.74 WHIP in his last 18 games. The Dodgers have shown interest in Martin in the past. Remember the Rangers did much better in trading relievers Jake Diekman and Keone Kela last summer than they did in the return for Cole Hamels.

Would the Rangers be interested in Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard?
It would be a complete change in course if the Rangers unloaded a significant package of young players to land Syndergaard. But he won't hit free agency until after 2021, and building a rotation around Syndergaard, Minor and Lance Lynn would have appeal for any team. The only concerns are the scouting reports on Syndergaard lately have brought mixed reviews.

What young pitchers do the Rangers want to see this season?
Rookie right-hander Pedro Payano starts Sunday against the Athletics. The Rangers still want to see left-hander Joe Palumbo, but he is down right now with inflammation in his left ankle. Left-hander Brock Burke is another candidate. He missed time this season because of a blister and shoulder fatigue, but has a 2.81 ERA and a 0.69 WHIP in his last three games at Double-A Frisco.

Where does Edinson Volquez stand in his recovery from a sprained right elbow?
Volquez, who has been out since April 5, is with the Rangers in Oakland and is throwing a bullpen session on Saturday. The next step could be live hitters. He is attempting to get back to the Rangers as a reliever. He is no longer viewed as a rotation candidate.

What about left-hander Yohander Mendez?
Mendez has been sidelined since Spring Training with a sprained left elbow but is beginning a medical rehab assignment with the Arizona Rooke League Rangers on Friday.

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.