Ok, so here’s the deal. The biggest takeaway from last night is something we already knew: the Rangers can certainly benefit from added bullpen depth.
That will come in the form of Keone Kela in a few weeks to whatever degree his health allows and it might come in the form of guys currently in the minors like Andrew Faulkner and/or Jose Leclerc. Obviously, the Rangers can also upgrade their bullpen in the trade market.
A lot of people have vented their frustration that a trade has yet to be made even though the Rangers have been aware of the need to upgrade the bullpen for a while. It doesn’t work that way, especially with relievers.
Yes, the Rangers are aware that their bullpen needs some help. I promise you. But, as is the case with any trade, it needs to make sense for both teams and it simply makes little sense for teams with valuable relievers to trade them away now.
Here’s how it works. Over the next month, more and more each week, teams will recognize their identity as a buyer or a seller. With an added Wild Card in each league, that process sometimes takes longer than usual. Some teams, like the Rangers, know they are buyers. Some times, like the Braves, know they are sellers. But a lot of teams really have no degree what they are going to do.
If I’m a seller, I’m in zero rush to sell. I want the market to develop so I can get the greatest return possible for the players I’m trying to sell. That happens when you maximize the amount of teams interested in that player.
It might make sense for the Rangers to pursue an impact reliever right now, but it makes little sense for a team to trade that type of player before the market develops. If they did trade that player, they’d likely charge a premium that just isn’t worth paying.
Plus, from the Rangers’ point-of-view, there are plenty of relievers capable of making a big impact even if they don’t have a big name. There are plenty of those guys who seem like they’ll be available because their team is not competitive, but even more of those guys will be made available when a few more teams recognize something that might not be clear just yet and that is that selling is their best move. More options from which to choose not only allows the Rangers to figure out their best move, it could also provide them with some leverage.
A trade is coming. Multiples trades, perhaps. Just be patient. Please.
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