Trade Central: Rangers Deal Demeritte For Two Arms


The prices for pitching are sky high in the trade market’s current state, so the Rangers found a cheaper, off-the-radar alternative. By acquiring righthander Lucas Harrell and lefthanded reliever Dario Alvarez, they patched a hole in their rotation and in their bullpen, all for the cost of one minor leaguer, Travis Demeritte, who might not fit into their long-term plans. With Rougned Odor, Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar already in the mix, there’s not much room in Arlington for Demeritte. On the Braves side, they turned two cheap acquisitions into another high-upside prospect for their increasingly high-upside farm system.

“Both guys were available earlier this year, but that’s the nature of the game,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said in a conference call. “But that’s the nature of the game now. Sam Dyson was a waiver claim at one point, Andrew Miller was out there as an outrighted player.”

Travis Demeritte, 2b
Age: 21

Demeritte is a lottery ticket, his game loaded with both high-end tools and holes. Drafted with the 30th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Demeritte has moved slowly. He spent parts of the last two seasons at low Class A Hickory before moving to high Class A High Desert this season. With the Mavericks, Demeritte has slugged a Cal League-best 25 home runs in just 88 games, but that power has come with 125 punchouts as well. Still just 21 years old, he’s got plenty of time to refine his strike zone and let his power play to even bigger value. Scouts who have seen him this year in High Desert say that, besides the whiffs, he’s the overall package. He’s a fine runner and defender and has a chance to stick at second base in the long run. If it all comes together, a power-hitting middle infielder is quite a return in this trade.

“Travis’ talent is real,” Daniels said in a conference call. “The Cal League thing is a factor, but we didn’t draft Travis from the Cal League. The talent is real.”

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
High Desert (CAL) HiA .272 88 331 73 90 20 4 25 59 41 125 13 .352 .583

Lucas Harrell, rhp
Age: 31

The Braves didn’t sign Harrell, who spent the early portion of the year in Double-A with the Tigers, until May 20. Since then he’s split time between Triple-A Gwinnett and the major leagues and has performed serviceably when up with the big club. He offers a four-pitch mix fronted by a low-90s four-seam fastball and a cutter in the mid-80s, as well as a changeup and a curveball. He doesn’t strike out a ton of guys or induce a large number of grounders, but he’s never been particularly longball-prone, either. He’s a temporary patch for a rotation bitten by injuries all year and recently tried veteran Kyle Lohse in the same role they’ll now ask Harrell to fill.

“He’ll (probably) start Sunday, barring something changing between now and then,” Daniels said. “Sunday’s his normal turn, we just want him to come in and throw a side before we announce anything.”

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO
 Erie (EL) AA 2  1 3.28  5 5 24.2 24  11 9  1 14  16
Gwinnett (IL) AAA 2 1 2.89 9 5 32 35 13 10 1 19 27
Atlanta (NL) MAJ 2 2 3.38 5 5 29.1 25 13 11 1 12 21

Dario Alvarez, lhp
Age: 27

The Braves claimed Alvarez from the Mets on May 25 and built up enough value with him to make the Rangers believe he could be a helpful lefty out of the pen. He has a nasty slider at his best, and it’s helped him get 28 strikeouts in just 15 innings. The three home runs in the same 15 innings, however, is a bit concerning. He got walloped in Triple-A Las Vegas—as most pitchers do—but returned to form nicely once in the more friendly atmosphere provided in the International League. Again, the Rangers’ staff has been bitten hard by the injury bug, and Alvarez provides a nice plug with a little bit of upside to boot.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G SV IP H R ER HR BB SO
Las Vegas (PCL) AAA 0 1 9.98 17 0 15.1 22 19 17 3 10 27
Gwinnett (IL) AAA 0 0 1.13 8 0 8 4 1 1 0 4 14
 Atlanta (NL) MAJ 3 1 3.00 16 0 15  11 5 5 3 5  28

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone