Rangers trade rumors: Hunter Pence, Alex Rios, Kendrys Morales on radar


After acquiring Matt Garza from the Cubs, the Rangers are not done wheeling and dealing. Now it appears they are looking to strengthen their lineup.

Sitting 3.5 games back of the AL West lead and 1.5 back of the second AL wildcard spot, the Texas Rangers are looking to bring in a right handed bat before the trade deadline, reports Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In particular, the Rangers are looking at the White Sox's Alex Rios, the Giants' Hunter Pence and the Mariners' Kendrys Morales.

Texas looking to acquire an outfielder via trade makes sense. The team may be losing Nelson Cruz to a suspension in the near future. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has already been suspended in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal and Cruz, who has also been connected to the facility, may soon follow with other suspensions rumored to be coming.

Even were Cruz to avoid a suspension, the Rangers could look to upgrade with left fielder David Murphy is hitting .224/.280/.371 over 95 games this season.

Rios has been rumored to be on the block recently, with the Pittsburgh Pirates reportedly showing the most interest thus far. Known as a good defensive outfielder, Rios has a .775 OPS in 2013 and has hit 12 home runs.

More Rangers coverage: Lone Star Ball

Pence would be harder to pry away. The Giants allegedly are not looking to sell at the deadline. The NL West is still wide open and San Francisco, who are 6.5 games back of the division lead, are not ready to give up on the race. As such, the team has said that it would take a big offer to convince them to trade Pence.

Were the Rangers to trade for Morales, he would likely slot into a DH spot that has been in flux for Texas. Jeff Baker is listed as the starter on the team's depth chart, but the Rangers have been using it as a position to give other starters a rest from defensive work. Baker, one of the team's hottest hitters, could move permanently into the outfield with a Morales acquisition.

Morales has an .807 OPS with 15 home runs this season.

The Rangers have already made one big move, strengthening their rotation with the acquisition of Matt Garza from the Cubs. Now, they are looking to strengthen their lineup while they continue to chase the Athletics for the division championship.

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