Now that Joakim Soria has been dealt, right fielder Alex Rios and left-hander Neal Cotts would seem to be the Texas Rangers players most likely to be traded before the July 31 non-waiver deadline.
General manager Jon Daniels said late Wednesday that he and his staff will consider deals the next six days in the way they did the Soria trade to Detroit for right-handed pitching prospects Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson.
The 2015 roster is part of the thought process.
“The way we approached it this summer is to know what the line is, so to speak, from a value standpoint and at the same time putting ourselves in a position where this off-season and next spring we can put a club together that we’re excited about,” Daniels said.
No trades were pending, Daniels said, but he was open to pulling off more. Cotts is a free agent after this season and could be an attractive bullpen piece for a contender. Rios, though, has an attractive option for 2015 and to deal him away would force the Rangers to add a bat in an off-season that needs to be focused on pitching.
Rios, who was acquired after the non-waiver deadline last year, knows that he could be dealt but isn’t fretting it after the Soria deal.
“You can’t think like that,” Rios said.
The Rangers traded right-hander Jason Frasor to Kansas City during the All-Star break for minor-league reliever Spencer Patton.
The Rangers purchased the Triple A contract of right-hander Nate Adcock to take Soria’s spot on the roster, and moved first baseman Mitch Moreland to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Adcock on the 40-man roster.
The Rangers pleaded with Major League Baseball on Wednesday to suspend the game rather than have it end in a 2-1 Yankees win in the fifth inning because of a soaked field after the grounds crew took 13 minutes to get the tarp down as a heavy rain fell.
But Rule 4.12(a)(3) dictates that because there was no “malfunction of a mechanical field device ... the game did not meet any criteria to be suspended.”
“Last night’s game was called because of the sudden onset of extreme rain, which affected the ability of the grounds crew to put the tarp in place,” MLB said in a statement. “We trust the judgment of last night’s umpires, who deemed the field unplayable despite the legitimate effort of the sufficiently staffed grounds crew to cover it.
“Because of the condition of the field following the heavy storms, we believe the right decision was made from a player safety standpoint.”
The Rangers will start veteran Jerome Williams on Friday to open a three-game series against Oakland after they decided not to use right-hander Nick Tepesch following his emergency relief appearance Tuesday.
Tepesch and the Rangers acknowledged that he could probably go. But the Rangers wanted to play it safe with the second-year starter who was summoned from the bullpen in the 14th inning after throwing a between-starts bullpen session earlier in the day.
“Err on the side of caution would be the way to go,” pitching coach Mike Maddux said. “We asked him to do something out of his box the other night. We really appreciated him taking the ball.”
Tepesch will start Saturday, and Miles Mikolas will start Sunday. Yu Darvish will remain on schedule after throwing only 67 pitches Wednesday in 4 1/3 innings, the shortest complete game in club history.
Williams was signed to a Triple A contract just before the All-Star break after being released by Houston. The right-hander went 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA in two starts with Round Rock.
The end of the series at Yankee Stadium on Thursday was the beginning of a trip to Cooperstown, N.Y., for the Hall of Fame induction weekend for radio broadcaster Eric Nadel and coach Mike Maddux.
Nadel will be honored Saturday by the Hall with the Ford C. Frick Award, the top achievement for a baseball broadcaster. Maddux will join his family as they celebrate the induction of his brother, Greg, into the Hall on Sunday.