Few impact starting pitchers figure to be available at the deadline. Plus we’ve seen rental players fetch huge returns, as Aroldis Chapman did last July when the Yankees flipped him to the Cubs for terrific infield prospect Gleyber Torres.
That’s why the Rangers should push hard to get everything they can for pending free agent Yu Darvish. The ace righthander would immediately become the best available starter if Texas abandons its run at a wild-card berth in a ridiculously crowded field that has eight teams within five games of the two spots. Even with just two months of service time (not including the postseason) to offer, Darvish would fetch a tasty return (far more than readily available teammates like catcher Jonathan Lucroy and 1B/DH Mike Napoli) if the Rangers decide to trade him. But with Texas now sitting just 2 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot, a Darvish trade will become more unlikely if they keep climbing over the next few days.