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Rangers Trade or Keep: Mike Minor

The MLB trade deadline is rapidly approaching the Texas Rangers. There are many decisions that can be made on whether to buy or sell. 

Buying is a possibility but seems not likely because that would go against the long-term plan of rebuilding and continuing to strengthen the farm system. When it comes selling, the Rangers have a multitude of value between many guys consisting of Hunter Pence, Shawn Kelley, Lance Lynn, and even Danny Santana or Shin-Soo Choo. However, one of the most valuable assets within the organization is ace, Mike Minor. Should the Rangers trade or keep him?

The 31-year-old lefty is obviously having a stellar year putting up career-high numbers. Thus far, Minor is 8-4 with 2 complete games and one shutout. He’s leading the AL in WAR with 6 and is second in ERA with a 2.73. Not to mention, the former number seven overall pick in 2009 was named to his first All-Star game this year. 

Jon Morosi reported this morning on MLB Network that it is becoming ‘increasingly likely’ that we see a trade for Mike Minor in the next two weeks. Teams that have shown interest include the Brewers and Phillies. 

The Rangers sit in a tough decision with buying and selling. The team is currently on a three-game losing streak and four games back of the Indians and A’s for the final playoff spot. With two tough rivalry-filled road trips sandwiched with a five-game homestand coming up, this could make or break the Rangers season as a whole. Whether they decide to buy, sell or stay put with their players, they will be able to fairly justify their decision according to where they are in the standings.

If I’m Jon Daniels, I’d hold out as long as possible to monitor all trade offers to see what the best deal will be. If the deadline were today and there were deals on the table to monitor, then I would trade him. He simply isn’t apart of this long-term plan, being 31 and nearing the end of his deal. There will, however, be multiple teams in ‘win-now’ mode inquiring about a trade for Minor. He could very well be the best starting pitcher available on the market, but not only that, he’s very affordable next year with only $9.5 million due. There’s a reason why teams are already beginning to show interest. 

Like I said earlier, Minor is the most valuable piece within the organization that they are willing to trade. He will likely earn the Rangers a boost within their farm system that they desperately need, especially when it comes to pitching. I’d like to think a shipment of Minor could obtain a package as Lucroy/Jeffress did back in 2016. When we acquired the two, it took giving up our second and third players in our system, Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz, who were also top-100 prospects at the time. Just like Minor, Lucroy was an All-Star with an extra year on his contract at that time, so the value took two top prospects in the other team’s organization. Now being on the other side of things, if we are sticking with Morosi’s report and are looking at the likes of the Braves and Phillies systems, the Braves have something to offer. 

The Atlanta Braves have five top-100 prospects and three of them are pitchers. Kyle Wright (25), Ian Anderson (26) and Bryse Wilson (73) are ranked second, third and fifth, respectively, in the Braves system and could all be potential suitors for the Rangers. I’m not saying all of them must be in the deal, but at least two of them should be in return for the All-Star. The Phillies don’t have much of a farm system going for them, so I’m honestly not sure if the Rangers would even express interest. Other teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins or the Houston Astros (doubt we deal with the bad guys), would be an interesting destination due to the contention and lack of starting pitching depth. The Rays (8) and Twins (5) each have significant prospects within the top-100 list including multiple pitchers. Any of which the Rangers would welcome in exchange for the lefty All-Star.

Whoever the Rangers deal with, if anyone at all, must be able to give up their number one pitching prospect or the deal won’t be worth it, if my opinion means anything. 

While it would be sad to see him go after reviving his career here in Texas, Jon Daniels simply has to do what’s in the best interest of the team for its future. At the end of the day, we’ll all sit back and see what the Rangers GM has up his sleeve at the upcoming trade deadline. We all know this is when he over-achieves at his job.

The trade deadline this year is Wednesday, July 31st at 3 pm CT.

Staff writer covering the Texas Rangers and Dallas Mavericks | Jesus Christ-follower, husband to Brooke, dad to Sutton, UNT journalism alumni, adventure craver, coffee connoisseur, music devotee, sports fanatic.

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