The Texas Rangers began the season with high expectations. They were supposed to challenge the Houston Astros for the top spot in the American League (AL) West. Unfortunately, the best-laid plans don't always work out, and now the Rangers have found themselves on the outside looking in.
As of the moment, the Rangers have a 45–46 win-loss record and they are 16.5 games behind the division-leading Astros. The chances of clinching a playoff spot by winning the division are virtually nonexistent right now for the Rangers, but they can still qualify for a wild-card spot.
The team is just 2.5 games behind the New York Yankees for the second wild-card spot in the AL and a lot can happen in the coming weeks. They can still turn things around and make one final push for the postseason. But if the Rangers come out cold after the All-Star break and continue to play below expectations, they may consider putting two of their best players on the trading block.
According to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the Rangers will reportedly listen to offers for pitchers Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels if the team "doesn't pick up its play" in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline.
However, Crasnick also pointed out that moving them is going to be a difficult task for the Rangers because Darvish is in the final season of his current contract while Hamels has a 20-team no-trade clause.
Trading Darvish and Hamels may seem like a drastic move, but the Dallas Morning News' Matt Mosley believes that the Rangers should really consider moving them if they can get a haul in return.
"Darvish might be leaving anyway. If you can get a huge haul for Hamels and Darvish, you need to think about it. The White Sox now have the best farm system in baseball because of trades over the last couple years. But that doesn't mean the big-league team will win any time soon," Mosley said.