Trade deadline talk: Still making calls

July, 31, 2012
7/31/12
11:43
AM CT
The Texas Rangers continue to work the phones in hopes of improving the club by the deadline, but indications are they may not be able to get the impact starting pitcher they wanted. A few things:

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ESPN MLB insider Jim Bowden on potential trade partners for the Rangers, how Mike Olt can help the team this year and more.

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* The club is interested in Matt Garza, but nothing much has happened on that front to this point. Of course, there's still time. Garza is obviously a bit of a risk with the triceps issue that forced the Cubs to back up his next start until after the deadline. But he's under club control in 2013 through arbitration (likely to make around $12 million next year), which is something the club prefers to rental players. And he would give the club some depth. However, like any deal, everything has to matchup in terms of prospects. Clearly, it's not a deal that involves Mike Olt. Is there a package that works to get him? Is he worth the risk? Those are things that GM Jon Daniels and his staff are working through.

* Cliff Lee is fun to talk about, but that remains a big-time longshot for a gaggle of reasons. ESPN.com's Jim Bowden told ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Ben & Skin that no deal with the Phillies for Lee will happen without Mike Olt. And we've seen how reluctant the Rangers are to move Olt. But beyond that, Lee is owed $25 million per season for the next three years and has a $27.5 million option for 2016 that includes a $12.5 million buyout (that option could vest depending on the innings pitched in the final years of the deal). The Rangers would want the Phillies to eat a large chunk of that. But if you're Philadelphia, part of the point of dealing Lee would be to shed some of that money. It just seems to make more sense for the Phillies to wait and reassess things at the offseason or beyond.

* Will things change as the clock ticks? You never know. Sometimes prices can drop and maybe that paves the way for something that wasn't a possibility the past few days, whether that's Garza or a deal that's been discussed or a deal that hasn't been talked about.

* The club still wants a reliever and is checking around on that. The names most commonly heard the past week: Jonathan Broxton and Rafael Betancourt. Broxton has rebounded from an injury and shown that he can get big outs late. Reports out of Kansas City indicate they like Justin Grimm. Is that too high a price to pay for what would be a setup man if that, in fact, is something that's being discussed? Betancourt is signed through next year, something we know the Rangers like. Last year, they traded for two relievers and a big reason they were willing to part with some prospects in those deals was because Koji Uehara and Mike Adams were under contract for 2012, not just rentals.

Stay tuned. The clock continues to tick.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Yu Darvish
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.06 182 144
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .323
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 69
RA. Beltre 68
OPSA. Beltre .874
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182