The Texas Rangers did the opposite of what was expected at the trade deadline.
The Texas Rangers haven’t been a team to follow on the field, due to their rather putrid overall play, but they were worth tracking during the MLB trade deadline on Monday. Given that the team was well-behind the Oakland Athletics for first place in the AL West, it made sense to try and gain some assets for their better players. Two names that came to mind was pitcher Lance Lynn and first baseman, Joey Gallo.
Despite the growing buzz heading into the 4 p.m. ET, the Rangers opted to keep both players, as they didn’t receive an offer they felt was worth it. While that’s certainly one way to look at it, you can’t rule out the Rangers being convinced they can turn things around in 2021.
Rangers keeping Lynn and Gallo…for now
Let’s start off with the biggest trade piece. Lynn was signed to a three-year, $30 million contract by the Rangers back in the winter of 2018. His first season in Texas had its ups and downs, but Lynn really turned it around in this 60-game season. Lynn has accumulated a 1.93 ERA and 0.016 WHIP, while striking out 56 batters in eight starts (51.1 innings pitched).
Given that Lynn is arguably the Rangers’ best player in 2020, you can’t blame the organization for asking for the farm from interested teams. Even though the Los Angeles Dodgers were looking to make a last-second acquisition, the Rangers decided to stand pat and keep Lynn for the remainder of the campaign. The interesting thing is that Lynn is set to make $8 million for the 2021 season, which will increase his stock if the Rangers are to sell again at the 2021 trade deadline.
As for Gallo, the Rangers were never going to receive a premium trade package for him. Through 31 games this season, the first baseman is batting .183 with a .759 OPS, recording seven home runs and 16 RBI. Gallo’s value was up last season, where he slashed .253/.389/.598 in a 70-game, injury-shortened season. Gallo is under team control through the 2022 season so there was no point in flipping him during a down-season.
Again, you can’t blame the Rangers for sticking with Lynn and Gallo, especially if they valued them much higher than contending teams this season. 2020 is a lost year for Texas, but maybe they can turn things around in 2020. Sports are weird, anything can happen. If worse comes to worst, the Rangers can always opt to flip both players next season.