HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 10: Alex Rios #51 of the Texas Rangers before a baseball game against the Houston Astros on August 10, 2013 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images)
If the Texas Rangers go 9-0 on this upcoming road trip and sweep the three teams ahead of them in the AL West standings, then we can revisit this subject in a couple of weeks.
If that doesn't happen, you'll undoubtedly start to hear whispers about who the Rangers should ship off at the July 31 trade deadline, as they'll be in a position to be sellers for the first time since the late 2000s.
The Rangers have a few guys that would be awfully appealing for contending teams at the deadline, and a couple that would make some sense in trading — relief pitcher Jason Frasor and right fielder Alex Rios. But the Rangers need to stay put with what they have this year unless someone just comes in and blows Jon Daniels away with a huge offer, and as far as we're concerned, Adrian Beltre should be off-limits.
Here's why: The Rangers are within striking distance of a wild card spot more than two months into the season despite having used the disabled list 20 times, using 20 pitchers and 19 positional players this year. That alone should get Ron Washington a raise.
Can you imagine what the Rangers might be like if they were fully healthy in this league that is filled with parity other than Oakland and San Francisco? They'd be buyers, for certain. So just because the Rangers might fall under the "sellers" category doesn't mean they have to be sellers.
If you trade Alex Rios, who would bring back a good prospect, who would play right field in 2015? You're looking at a platoon of Michael Choice and Mitch Moreland, which does not sound appealing, especially when you consider Rios has been your offensive MVP this year.
Keep this team together, hope for health and better fortune in 2015, and see what you can do. You'll have a full season of healthy Derek Holland, you'll hope for a healthy, effective Prince Fielder. You'll have Jurickson Profar and Rougned Odor to battle it out for the second base job. You go get another starting pitcher this offseason to fortify the top of the rotation, and you'll be right in the thick of the AL's top contenders.
Sell for 2014, and you just might be mortgaging your 2015 season, too. And no one wants to see that.