Fewer than 48 hours remain until the annual July 31 non-waiver trade deadline ends, and as of Monday, Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was expecting a quiet day Wednesday.
Nothing big is brewing for an offense that had been shut out in three of its past four games entering Monday’s series opener against Anaheim. The Rangers have little interest in outfielder Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox. There is interest in Giancarlo Stanton, but the Miami Marlins aren’t planning for a July clearance sale.
Not even Manny Ramirez is in the Rangers’ plans as they bid for a fourth straight playoff appearance. Any turnaround, it appears, will have to be generated by the players who are on the roster.
“There’s the good and the bad with the trade deadline,” Daniels said. “The good is you can get some life and excitement if you make the right move. The bad is it almost creates an expectation for the front office to go and address myriad issues.
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“That’s not realistic. We’ve got to address most of them ourselves. There’s not a lot out there that I’m really excited about. Even more to the point, I’m not sure any of those available players address the issue, which is playing better.”
The Rangers have been open about their desire to add a right-handed hitter. Daniels is also bracing for a suspension to right fielder Nelson Cruz, the Rangers’ top run producer, for his role in the Biogenesis of America scandal.
Rios, San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence and Seattle Mariners designated hitter Kendrys Morales topped the Rangers’ list, and there has never been much interest in a reunion with former Rangers Michael Young and Marlon Byrd.
Daniels didn’t rule out a smaller deal, but the trade for right-hander Matt Garza, who started Monday, will rate as the Rangers’ big move ahead of the deadline this year. That includes dealing closer Joe Nathan, an idea that was floated but hasn’t had much traction.
“We’ll talk about anything,” Daniels said. “That’s our jobs, but talking about something and having it happen are very different things.
“I don’t expect to make any trades, but things have a way of changing. Our biggest acquisition we’ve made already. Beyond that, any other acquisition basically will be playing better.”
Rangers manager Ron Washington juggled the lineup in the hopes of jump-starting an offense that hadn’t scored since Friday. A lack off offense was the main culprit behind their 2-8 start to the second half.
Daniels, Washington and second baseman Ian Kinsler are confident that the 13 position players on the roster are capable of sparking a turnaround.
“There are a lot of guys in here who have tremendous track records,” said Kinsler, who batted third against the Angels while Leonys Martin replaced him atop the lineup. “We have to do it as a whole. It’s consistency and quality at-bats.”
Ramirez, 41, isn’t part of the Rangers’ plans. He isn’t going to be promoted from Triple A Round Rock, said a baseball source, and club officials will meet soon to discuss if they plan to keep him in the organization.
The veteran slugger hit three homers in his first week after signing a minor league deal earlier this month, but he hasn’t homered since July 14 and is hitting .269 in 18 games.
With nothing significant planned before the trade deadline at 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Rangers’ offense will have to cure itself.
“We’re not playing the type of games we’re capable of playing,” Daniels said. “We’re built to win lower-scoring games. That’s the nature of our team right now. To win those kinds of games, you have to play fundamentally sound baseball and we haven’t been doing that.”