Texas has the second-worst record in the league at 38-52 and when the Rangers start selling off veterans near the trade deadline T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that relievers Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts will likely be on the block.
Frasor and Cotts are both having good season and they’re both impending free agents, so contenders looking for bullpen help without having to overpay to acquire it figure to target them.
Frasor, who’ll be 37 years old next month, has a 2.86 ERA and 29/13 K/BB ratio in 28 innings after being similarly effective for the Rangers last season. He has a long track record as a solid setup man from the right side.
Cotts’ track record isn’t quite as impressive, but he was nearly unhittable for much of last season and this season the left-hander has a 3.65 ERA and 44/14 K/BB ratio in 37 innings.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.