These clubs could be buyers for Rangers
ARLINGTON -- With the Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. CT on Monday looming, Rangers manager Chris Woodward stated the obvious on Saturday.
“You know there is going to be some action,” Woodward said. “By Monday, we probably won't have a couple of players on our team we have right now."
Lance Lynn? Clubs are definitely circling the Rangers on him. Rafael Montero? Bullpen help is a priority for contenders at the Deadline. Mike Minor? He has not been at his best but could still help somebody.
The Rangers also have Shin-Soo Choo and Todd Frazier, but pitching is usually the most coveted commodity at any Trade Deadline.
The list of buyers:
• Yankees: They need both a starter and a reliever, so Lynn and Montero should be on their list. The Yankees have third baseman Miguel Andújar and outfielders Clint Frazier and Mike Tauchman, players who could step in immediately to the Rangers' lineup. The Rangers could use immediate offensive help but have been tepid on Andújar and Frazier in the past.
• Braves: They are prioritizing starting pitching and they are interested in pitchers whose contracts expire at the end of the season. That is an unusual approach, but it fits Minor, who began his career with the Braves. The Rangers acquired Kolby Allard from the Braves last season and know their farm system well.
• Padres: Lynn has been mentioned here, and this club needs bullpen help, so Montero could also be on their list. Manager Jayce Tingler came from the Rangers and is well acquainted with Lynn. But everybody in baseball should know by now Lynn is having an outstanding season and is signed for next year.
• White Sox: They could get Lynn if they were willing to talk about first-base prospect Andrew Vaughn. The White Sox would really have to feel strongly about their postseason chances to make that deal. But if the Rangers trade Lynn, they need to get at least one impact player close to being Major League-ready. They can’t be shopping from a club’s second tier of prospects. Not for Lynn.
• Rays: Same story. Another team looking at both starting and bullpen help, but it is doubtful the Rangers could pry highly rated outfielder Josh Lowe from them.
• Blue Jays: They have the ability to take on money, so they might be willing to get Lynn for this season and next year as well.
• Dodgers: Even with the best record in baseball, the Dodgers, eager to win their first World Series since 1988, could use one more veteran starter. It’s doubtful the Dodgers will hold back if they can add a premium pitcher behind Clayton Kershaw.
• Twins, Astros: Word is both teams are looking to upgrade the bullpen, which could put Montero in play. Montero still has two more years of service and has a chance to be an elite setup/closer at the back end of a bullpen. That is worth keeping. But the Rangers did well two years ago when they acquired pitcher Taylor Hearn and third baseman Sherten Apostel from the Pirates for Keone Kela.
Andrus ready, Odor uncertain
The Rangers could activate shortstop Elvis Andrus off the injured list as early as Sunday, or possibly Tuesday when they open a three-game series with the Astros in Houston. He has been sidelined with a strained lower back.
“His workouts have been actually really good … he's been doing everything,” Woodward said. “I'm hoping we can activate him after tomorrow's game or at some point really soon. But he feels really pretty much 100 percent right now.”
Second baseman Rougned Odor remains out of the lineup with an infection in the right eye and could end up on the injured list. He has missed four straight games.
“His eye is still bothering him, still pretty swollen,” Woodward said. “Pretty painful. I don’t know if he will be available tomorrow. But I am hoping some of these pills kick in and he feels better.”
• Reliever Joely Rodríguez was the Rangers' pitcher when they took the lead against the Dodgers with a four-run seventh inning on Friday night. But Rodríguez had allowed two runs in the top of the seventh and the win ended up going to Jonathan Hernández, who pitched a scoreless eighth.
• Statcast awarded outfielder Leody Taveras a four-star rating for taking away a home run from Justin Turner on Friday night by reaching high over the left-center-field fence.
Taveras, who is 6-foot-2, also confirmed Saturday something else suggested by his great catch: he can dunk a basketball.
• Minor’s six innings against the Dodgers on Friday was the first scoreless outing of any length by an opposing starter facing Los Angeles this season.