Major League Baseball has reportedly informed the union of the 13 players they intend to suspend in the Biogenesis case, according to the Associated Press. Alex Rodriguez highlights the list of those expected to be punished, however a number of other prominent players face bans that could significantly impact the playoff hunt, forcing several potentially affected teams into a last-minute frenzy for insurance now a mere hours before the 4pm trade deadline.
One of those teams could be the Texas Rangers, who after losing Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and Mike Napoli this winter, now stand to lose their All-Star outfielder for the remainder of the season in Nelson Cruz. Already fighting to remain in the Wild Card hunt, the loss of Cruz would prove to be a devastating blow to the Rangers’ chances.
With the Mets playoff hopes fading, even given their recent improvement in play, it would behoove them to seriously consider moving Marlon Byrd to replace Cruz at right field in Arlington, granted if the price is right.
The Tigers, in a similar situation as Texas, traded one of their top prospects in Avisail García last night in a three team deal that landed them shortstop Jose Iglesias. With a suspension lurking overhead for Jhonny Peralta, GM David Dombrowski decided to take no chances with his team in the thick of a pennant race.
With it seeming ever more likely that Nelson Cruz will miss significant time due to the Biogenesis scandal, the Rangers need to act fast. They have already shown their willingness to mortgage the future for the here-and-now, exemplified by the recent Matt Garza trade, and if the asking price on Alex Rios is too high, their next call should be Sandy Alderson regarding Marlon Byrd.