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Sunday, July 31, 2011
Uehara trade puts Texas in good spot today

By Richard Durrett

The Rangers' acquisition of RHP Koji Uehara from Baltimore gives general manager Jon Daniels and his staff some options today.

Instead of having to make a deal at any cost for Heath Bell, for instance, they can continue to negotiate with the Padres and see if San Diego comes off its high price for Bell. If they don't, then the Rangers can pass. If they do, then Texas can try to strike a deal. The Rangers are still considered one of the favorites for Bell, so we'll see what happens there.

Because they dealt Tommy Hunter and Chris Davis for Uehara, they didn't send any pieces that could be used to land Bell or others today. They have had numerous conversations with numerous clubs and can continue to do that and see what may or may not pop up.

By having Uehara in the bullpen, the Rangers can be very picky. They either get the deal they want and pull the trigger or they don't. Either way, they did address a hole in the bullpen by picking up a right-handed arm that misses bats and has been a consistent late-inning presence this season.

Knowing the Rangers' front office, they'll keep talking with anyone, including the A's about their relievers. But they don't have to make a deal now. That puts them in a good spot as the hours tick down to the 3 p.m. Dallas time deadline.