The trade deadline is getting closer. Will the Rangers have a new player or two on the roster by Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. CT? Let's take a look at a few things to watch as things wind down:
* Starting pitchers. The club would still like one, but the question is whether there's a viable option out there. The market has thinned in recent days. The price has been high on Miami Marlins' Josh Johnson, who didn't help his stock with his performance on Sunday (two runs allowed, but six walks in five innings vs. Padres). Tampa Bay is right in the hunt and may not want to move James Shields, who also has a club-friendly contract. Matt Garza is still out there, but with a triceps issue and the fact that he's not pitching before the trade deadline, do you want to take a chance on him?
Reports have surfaced, including this one from our buddy Gordon Edes from ESPNBoston.com, that that Red Sox are shopping Josh Beckett. They are calling teams they feel would be interested, including Texas. Beckett is 5-9 with a 4.57 ERA in 17 starts this season and is scheduled to pitch again Tuesday. He has 10-5 rights, but several reports said it's believed he would waive those rights to come to Texas. The biggest issue may be money. With Beckett not pitching particularly well this season, it's likely that any team that consider Beckett would only do so at a big discount. That means Boston taking a good portion of the remaining dollars left on his contract. He's making $15.75 million this season, $15.75 million next year and $15.75 million in 2014.
It certainly seems like a longshot, but you never know.
* Relievers. The club has turned its attention more toward bullpen help in the past day or two as the starting market has dwindled a bit. They've shown interest in Jonathan Broxton and Rafael Betancourt with the idea that they could strengthen the bullpen and possibly move Alexi Ogando to the rotation.
* Bats. We saw last year how critical a bench can be down the stretch and in the postseason. That's especially true if the Rangers get back to the World Series. They could use a right-handed bat. Of course, with the Rangers' offense scuffling a bit, maybe a bat of any kind could provide a spark.
So stay tuned.