The Texas Rangers landed Matt Garza earlier this week from the Chicago Cubs, but the team appears to be far from done adding to its current roster. With outfielder Nelson Cruz potentially facing a suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis scandal, the Rangers are looking to add at least one bat and possibly more.
The player who has been most closely connected to the Rangers is Chicago White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, who is also being pursued by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox. The White Sox and Rangers are reportedly actively talking about a trade and something could be finished soon.
But the Rangers are also interested in San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, New York Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd and Seattle Mariners first baseman Kendrys Morales.
The Rangers currently sit three games behind the Oakland A’s for first place in the American League West. They have a 56-45 record and are a half-game out of the final wild card spot in the American League as well. After the addition of Garza, the Rangers might be done adding pitchers, but they could certainly use more offense.
Texas ranks 13th in baseball in runs scored, 10th in batting average (.260), 11th in on-base percentage (.321) and eighth in slugging percentage (.416).
The problem with those numbers is that Cruz has arguably been the best offensive player on the team. He currently leads the Rangers with 23 home runs and 70 RBIs. If things in the Biogenesis investigation continue as they are expected, Cruz could be suspended for a long time very soon.
Even if Cruz somehow avoids suspension, the Rangers probably need to add a bat anyway, since current starting left fielder David Murphy is hitting just .226. Murphy also has a woeful OPS of .665 and a WAR of minus-0.7. So Pence, Rios or Byrd would be a big-time upgrade in the outfield.
Expect the Rangers to make at least one move to add offense in the next week.