Even if the Cleveland Indians truly do not want to trade any starting pitchers this offseason, the amount of interest coming from other teams may eventually be too much. Today they are reportedly talking with the Texas Rangers, according to MLB.com’s TR Sullivan. There were earlier reports of the Rangers shopping designated hitter Prince Fielder, but those have since been rebutted by Texas. So who could the two teams be discussing?
Even if those Prince Fielder rumors turn out to be true, do not expect that to be part of this conversation. As much as the Indians would love a bat like Fielder’s, the Rangers reportedly want a team to eat a large part of Prince Fielder’s contract, and I cannot see the Indians paying a DH nearly $24 million per year until 2020. So, no.
The Rangers have been all over the place looking for pitching according to Sullivan, having taken shots at Shelby Miller, Jose Fernandez, and Drew Smyly. On the Indians, the obvious trade candidates for them to look at are Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, or even Trevor Bauer. but we do not yet have confirmation on who the Rangers could be asking for. If they were previously going after Shelby Miller and Jose Fernandez they probably are not interested in something small like Cody Anderson or Josh Tomlin.
One intriguing player for the Indians to go after would be outfielder Delino Deshields Jr., whom the Rangers claimed in the Rule 5 draft from the Houston Astros at least year’s Winter Meetings. The speedy 23-year-old slashed .261/.344/.374 with 25 stolen bases while playing a mix of center field, left field, and second base last season for the Rangers.
Another, much more intriguing option is third baseman Joey Gallo--a highly-touted third base prospect who got his first shot at the Majors this year when Andre Beltre went down with an injury in June. Gallo slashed .204/.301/.417 with six home runs in 36 games for Texas. He is ranked as the Rangers No. 1 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline.