Despite picking up a win Saturday afternoon (TEX 9, MIN 6), the Texas Rangers are ready to begin selling off players in advance of the July 31 trade deadline. At 34-44, the Rangers are in last place in the AL West, and they're closer to having the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft than they are the second wild-card spot.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers have made third baseman Adrian Beltre and others available to contending teams. From Grant:
The Rangers, according to a major league source, are making Adrian Beltre available to contending teams interested in a third baseman. Also: The Rangers are making lefty Jake Diekman and closer Keone Kela available on the trade market, the source said.
Before the trade deadline expires on July 31, the Rangers are likely to explore trades for many of their veterans.
Noticeably absent from that three-player list is left-hander Cole Hamels, though I wouldn't read much into that. Hamels is an impending free agent and, as long as he stays healthy, I would bet the farm on him being traded prior to the deadline. The Rangers will listen to offers for him as well. No doubt about it.
Beltre, an impending free agent himself, smacked his fourth home run of the season Saturday to raise his batting line to .314/.365/.456. The power numbers aren't what they once were, but Beltre remains an impact player both at the plate and in the field. He represents a potential third base upgrade for several contenders, including the Braves, Phillies, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Indians if they're willing to move Jose Ramirez to second. .
Diekman, a hard-throwing southpaw, is another impending free agent while Kela is under team control through 2021. When you're a bad team and you've decided to rebuild, which the Rangers apparently have, quality relievers should be the first players moved. Relievers are volatile and it's much more likely they lose trade value going forward than gain it.
The Rangers could market Robinson Chirinos, Elvis Andrus, Bartolo Colon, and Mike Minor prior to the deadline in addition to Beltre, Hamels, Kela, and Diekman. Shin-Soo Choo still has lots of money remaining on his contract, but he's having a great season and could generate interest if Texas is willing to eat some salary.