Ron Washington wants solid starter
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said Friday that his club needs a solid starting pitcher as the trade deadline approaches.
"We need a good pitcher," Washington said. "We can use a good pitcher. If it happens to be a No. 1 that (Rangers general manager) Jon Daniels gets, if he gets it, fine. We need a good pitcher."
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One pitcher that certainly would have fit that bill is free agent-to-be Zack Greinke. But the Brewers agreed to trade the right-hander Friday night to the Angels for shortstop Jean Segura and two Double-A pitchers, sources confirmed to ESPN. FoxSports.com first reported on the deal.
The Rangers had scouted Greinke.
That means one less of those "good pitchers" Washington refers to is still on the market.
The Cubs' Matt Garza won't pitch again before the deadline as an MRI revealed some fluid buildup in his triceps area. Sources tell ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that the asking price for Miami Marlins starter Josh Johnson is high. The Philadelphia Phillies may not want to part with Cliff Lee and instead keep their talented, but expensive rotation pieces together a little longer. Lee came to Texas a few weeks before the trade deadline in 2010, and helped the club reach its first World Series.
The Rangers are also interested in James Shields, but like many of the other possibilities, that may depend on how many and what level of prospects the Tampa Bay Rays would need to make a deal happen.
Washington, though, said he isn't consumed by the trade deadline talk and his team shouldn't be either.
"The No. 1 need on my wish list is we just keep winning," Washington said.
The skipper added that he's confident in the rotation he has now, which has been altered because of injuries. Colby Lewis is out for the season with a torn flexor tendon in his elbow, and Roy Oswalt missed his last start with some back discomfort.
But Scott Feldman and Martin Perez filled in with nice outings against the Boston Red Sox this week, and Oswalt is expected to pitch Monday, one day later than had been planned. Neftali Feliz, out since May with a sprained right UCL, is scheduled to throw 80 pitches or five innings in a rehab start this weekend and could be ready to return after that depending on how he performs.
The team could stretch out Alexi Ogando and move him back into the rotation, if necessary.
"Right now, the guys that are filling in are doing a heck of a job," Washington said. "I don't see where we're missing any beats. It's obvious we want to get better. Everybody does. We have to wait and see what happens."
Players are certainly aware that the deadline is close and that the Rangers, thanks to their contending status and the fact that they have one of the best farm systems in the league, are mentioned as possibilities for nearly every deal. And that includes more than pitchers. The club would like a right-handed bat for the bench, and Daniels' staff is known for looking at anything and everything to improve the club.
"We've all been down this road so many times," Michael Young said. "We've been here when we've gotten Cliff Lee, we got guys last year for our bullpen. We know what it's like, we know what it means. We all know that our primary responsibility is to focus on the field."