Thursday, June 30, 2011

Texas Rangers Ready to Showcase Chris Davis in the Outfield?

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The Texas Rangers could be ready to bring Chris Davis back to the big leagues but it's not to play first or even third base.

No according to reports, Davis is going to see playing time in the outfield at one of the corner spots and will move Josh Hamilton from a corner outfield position to center field. Something that could make just about every Ranger fan cringe after all the times Josh has run head long into the outfield walls.

Chris Davis Infielder Chris Davis #19 of the Texas Rangers fields a ground ball out against the Cleveland Indians during the MLB spring training game at Surprise Stadium on March 19, 2010 in Surprise, Arizona.  The Indians defeated the Rangers 12-2.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

This is nothing more than the Rangers showcasing Chris Davis for a possible trade at or before the trade deadline at the end of July. Davis has seen time in the outfield with Triple-A Round Rock but if Major League teams are going to be interested in making a trade with Texas, they are going to watch him over the next few weeks to see how he handles the change in position.

The knock on Davis, however, isn't his defense but it's when he grabs a bat and steps to the plate. He has a ton of holes in his swing and hasn't had near the same success offensively that he's shown in the minor leagues.

That being said, Davis is still very much a hot trade commodity and the Rangers know it. If he wasn't they would have no reason to bring him up and stick him in the outfield. They know the problems he's had at the plate and they the risk they're taking in having him in the lineup on an every day basis.

But the Rangers need to show that Davis is a serviceable big league player because they themselves need to include him in a trade that would land them a big time reliever for the bullpen or starter for the rotation.

We have talked about a few names the Rangers could be looking at but what we don't know is which deal Davis would be included in.

The San Diego Padres aren't going to do a one-for-one deal with Heath Bell or Mike Adams. They may not even be interested in Davis seeing as they already have young infielders Anthony Rizzo, Jesus Guzman and Kyle Blanks able to man the first base position.

So if it's not Bell or Adams, where will Davis end up and what will he bring in return.

One deal I've talked about before on my podcast involves the Baltimore Orioles and right hander, Jeremy Guthrie.

This is a guy who could use a fresh start especially since he's spent his entire career with an Orioles' team that has no chance in winning their division let alone getting deep into the playoffs.

They are in need of an infielder like Chris Davis and could do send Guthrie to Texas without the Rangers having to give up a second player in the deal.

Also, the Chicago Cubs are about ready to waive the white flag on their season and could be willing to part with reliever Kerry Wood, again. The Cubs aren't going to sell high on Wood and may send him to the American League on a one-for-one swap.

  Starting Pitcher Matt Garza #17 Of The Chicago Cubs Delivers
Brian Kersey/Getty Images

But there's one name who the Rangers could, and should, look at and he's another pitcher with the Chicago Cubs. Matt Garza was a guy who was brought to the windy city thanks to the aforementioned Kerry Wood and it seems as if the Cubs could very well be open to dealing him in the right trade.

Garza is a guy who really became a young star with the Tampa Bay Rays and it was one of the biggest reasons the Cubs landed him in free agency after the 2010 season.

He won a combined 34 games over three seasons with the Rays and never finished with an ERA worse than 3.95 during his time there.

This season hasn't been nearly as good to him but he has experience in the American League and he's only 27-years old, soon to be 28 in November, so you're getting a young pitcher who still has a lot of good years ahead of him.

There are more than a few names the Rangers will look at over the next month but their ability to make a deal hinges on how Chris Davis performs over the next month. If he struggles and his batting average takes a tumble, so will his trade value.

The Rangers are taking a definite risk but one they could really cash in on if it pays off.

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