|Farm system could help Rangers land ace||| Print |||Send|
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on July 26, 2012
The past seven days have seen a lot of trades, some of them, like the Ichiro trade to the Yankees, coming as a complete surprise. But it’s no surprise that plenty of teams are looking for pitching
Just a few days ago the pitching market looked dreadfully thin. At least 22 teams were at least ostensibly in the playoff hunt due to the new Wild Card system and the one-game playoff that it will trigger. But a brutal week for a number of teams seems to have convinced at least one or two of those “contenders” to be sellers rather than buyers.
Photo by South Florida Sun, used under creative commons license.
No doubt all of those, not to mention a handful of the teams clearly on the edge, are getting calls from the Texas Rangers. The Rangers who officially admitted that ace Colby Lewis was done for the season on Monday, aren’t ready to lay down and go home. Instead the two-time defending AL champions are on the market for a replacement ace or at least a solid No. 2 to bolster their depth.
With Anibel Sanchez already off the market, Wandy Rodriguez now making his in season home in Pittsburgh, and Ryan Dempster apparently deciding between Atlanta and the Dodgers, the list of pitchers who’d at least nominally earn an “ace” type designation is getting smaller.
The best still available include the Brewers’ Zack Greinke and Miami’s Josh Johnson. Then there are a handful of more speculative guys including James Shields and Rickey Nolasco who could add depth but haven’t had tremendous success this season.
Or the Rangers could do nothing. They boast the best offense in baseball and they have some minor league arms that are close to big league ready. That includes 20-year-old Martin Perez who currently is filling the fifth spot in the rotation but who could still use a little more polish. By itself that could be enough to let them ride to a division title, and they could try to outslug any opponent they met in the playoffs. Of course, that plan has backfired before and might be foolish considering the strength of the Rangers farm system.
And the farm isn’t good; it’s exceptional and puts the Rangers in a strong position to make a run at one, or even two, of the best pitchers available without gutting the system. The system is that deep -- arguably the best in the game and loaded with talent especially with young pitchers and shortstops. Those are players that other teams, especially rebuilding teams, will covet. It’s a depth few farm systems can boast and it should make them the most favored trading partner for any team looking to trade a quality arm.
The cost might be high for an ace pitcher, but if any team has the ability to land one, it should be the Rangers. It would be a huge boost in their effort to not just win the division but to repeat as American League champions.