Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Deadline talk: Final day is upon us
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- We are now counting down the final hours until Tuesday's 3 p.m. central time deadline as everyone in baseball will be burning up battery power in their cell phones trying to make some deals before the afternoon ends. A few things to watch for as we race toward the finish line:
* The Rangers already made one move, acquiring Geovany Soto and cash considerations from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Jacob Brigham. Soto gives them a backup catcher option, someone who plays solid defense and he's under club control for another year. It could mean Yorvit Torrealba is designated for assignment to make room for Soto, who is hitting .199. But this appears to be more a move to get a good defensive catcher as a backup to Mike Napoli. And don't discount the fact that Soto is under control in 2013. Both Napoli and Torrealba are free agents after this year.
* ESPNChicago.com reports the Rangers have interest in Matt Garza. That may sound a bit surprising in that Garza's start was pushed back because of fluid in his triceps area. But if the medical reports check out, he could add some depth to a thinned rotation. And maybe he can be plucked at a decent price. The Rangers had some interest in Garza at the Winter Meetings this offseason, but a deal never materialized. Perhaps Garza is the type of starter the Rangers can get without feeling like they've mortgaged the future or dealt away any of their biggest minor-league prizes.
* The Garza story also notes that the Blue Jays are very interested as well. It could be interesting to see what happens as we get closer to 3 p.m. in regards to Garza. One other important note on Garza: He's under club control through 2013, his final year of arbitration. That has to make him more appealing to the Rangers in that he's not a two-month rental.
* Word broke Monday that Cliff Lee was being shopped by the Phillies and the Rangers, naturally, had some interest. But a source said Monday that it was "very doubtful" a deal could be reached with Texas. The Rangers would need the Phillies to pay for a good chunk of the remaining salary on Lee's contract -- and it's hefty at $25 million for the next three seasons and a $27.5 million club option that vests based on innings pitched (or a $12.5 million buyout). Plus, the Phillies will want a big haul on prospects. At Lee's age and the fact that he's not quite the same pitcher he was when the Rangers got him in 2010, it likely isn't going to happen. But we put in this trade deadline disclaimer: Sometimes prices drop as the deadline gets closer.
* One thing about the Rangers: They will toss many balls in the air and see if they can catch any of them as the deadline approaches. A right-handed bat off the bench wouldn't be a bad thing for this club. The question is whether there's one that's affordable and makes sense.
* What about the unexpected? With this club, it can happen. There may be a name not mentioned on the rumor mill that pops up. And if there's a player that could be a fit being shopped, you can bet the Rangers have at least inquired.