Rangers’ GM taking patient approach to trade market

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A quick glance at the current Texas Rangers’ roster would suggest that general manager Jon Daniels needs to acquire a starting pitcher, a right fielder, a bullpen piece and an extra right-handed hitter at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Daniels, though, didn’t seem gung-ho at all Tuesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t looking for help, but he also believes that the Rangers have a chance to improve with what they have or what the are expecting to get back.

The most pressing need would appear to be a starting pitcher, with injuries wrecking the Opening Day rotation and forcing three rookies into steady action. Just behind it would be right field, with Nelson Cruz reportedly facing a 50-game suspension.

But Daniels isn’t biting. At least not yet.

“I don’t know how much is out there in terms of real quality,” Daniels said. “A lot it is going to depend on some injuries, and a lot is going to depend on how teams perform and who decides to do what.”

The area where the Rangers are least likely to seek help is the bullpen, which has posted the second-best ERA (3.70) in the American League. Daniels sees the imminent return of Joakim Soria and the August comeback of Neftali Feliz as similar to acquiring help.

Soria will make his third rehab appearance Tuesday as he comes back from Tommy John surgery and a strained pectoral muscle, for the rookie league team in Arizona, before joining Triple A Round Rock. The early returns suggest that Soria could be back before the All-Star break.

“The reality is without the pec deal he’d be in the big leagues for us already,” Daniels said. “I hoping the bullpen is something we can address internally. It’s been the strongest unit on the team so far.”

Daniels doesn’t seem inclined to move on a possible Cruz replacement, because he doesn’t know if the Rangers are going to need one.

Cruz said on Tuesday that he has yet to talk to Major League Baseball investigators about his ties to the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic that reportedly provided him with performance-enhancing drugs.

His tone, though, changed enough to suggest that something could be happening soon. When asked if a meeting is in the works, Cruz declined comment whereas of late he has flatly said no.

“If something has come up, and I cannot even tell you when,” Cruz said. “When I have a chance to talk to them, I will address you guys.”

Daniels said that there is no sense in pursuing a player like Alex Rios or Andre Either yet.

“I don’t see how we plan for anything other than Nellie being out there,” Daniels said. “You can’t be out there trying to acquire somebody based on media reports.”

Daniels also isn’t sure which teams will be attempting to trade off starting pitchers, though below-.500 Milwaukee (Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse) and both below-.500 Chicago teams (Matt Garza, Cubs, and Jake Peavy, White Sox) appear to be likely sellers.

No movement is going to be made, though, until the Rangers have more of a gauge on if Alexi Ogando (shoulder discomfort) and Colby Lewis (triceps tendinitis) will be healthy enough to make quality contributions to the rotation.

Ogando is closer to returning than Lewis.

“We want to get our two arms around those guys,” Daniels said. “We will look at the starting market and if somebody is out there.”

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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