The talk this week surrounding the Texas Rangers and Friday's 3 p.m. MLB trade deadline has been their quest to acquire ace pitcher Cole Hamels to stick atop their rotation for the next three seasons.
But the Rangers are trending more and more toward selling off some of their assets at the big-league level and not just concentrating on flipping prospects for big-league talent. The most likely candidate to be moved from the Rangers' roster in Arlington is scheduled to make a start on Thursday night to conclude the Rangers' four-game series with the Yankees.
Yovani Gallardo had a tremendous run through June and early July, racking up a scoreless inning streak of more than 30 innings of work. But since then, he's tailed off and see his trade value die to some extent. He's a rental, as he's free at the end of this year, and his last two outings have failed to see him record an out in the fifth inning. Over those two starts, he's seen his ERA climb from 2.62 to 3.19.
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The decision the Rangers have to make is whether the return they get in a Gallardo deal would be enough to compensate for the No. 1 draft pick they'd lose for not being compensated for losing Gallardo to free agency this winter.
It'd be a gamble, however, to hold on to Gallardo. To get that pick, they'd have to extend him a qualifying offer for 2016 and hope he rejects it, which players always do. The return won't be great for Gallardo, moreso because he's a rental than because of his recent run of bad starts, but the Rangers will have to judge it in the next 48 hours.