This probably qualifies as a “deep thought,” but over the weekend Zack Greinke signed with the Dodgers and James Shields was dealt to the Royals. Both Greinke and Shields were targets of the Texas Rangers. They’ve also sought to trade for Justin Upton, but they don’t want to deal a shortstop to Arizona and, with the starting pitchers falling off the market, it makes that multi-team megadeal everyone was talking about last week much harder.
So what are the Rangers going to do?
Seems like a logical option is to go back to Josh Hamilton, the player they’ve been distancing themselves from since the end of the season. Because while losing him would have been fine assuming Jon Daniels could find the wins his bat provided with someone else’s bat or in a couple of someone else’s arms, those options are getting thinner and thinner.
There’s a lot of time left in the offseason and a lot of different directions Texas could go, but every time a player falls off the big board, a reunion with Josh Hamilton becomes more and more likely.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.