Texas Rangers

Daniels says Rangers unlikely to sell at trade deadline

Those clamoring for the Texas Rangers to sell off their roster ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, for the sake of rebuilding the farm system and cutting salary, were dealt a setback.

Don’t count it, general manager Jon Daniels said.

Daniels expects that the Rangers will be in contention for one of the two wild-card spots by the time the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline arrives, and something significant would have to happen to alter his thinking.

That could come in the form of a collapse to open the second half or a contending team making the Rangers an offer they can’t refuse.

As of Friday afternoon, with three games remaining in the first half and 16 more after the All-Star break ahead of the deadline, Yu Darvish, Mike Napoli and the four other 2018 free agents might not be going anywhere.

“Whether it’s a combination of team performance or what happens or if somebody really comes calling for a player, for us to go the other direction would take a unique circumstance,” Daniels said.

The Rangers didn’t look like a non-contender Friday night in the opener of a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels. Adrian Beltre swatted a three-run homer in the second inning and Rougned Odor followed with a solo shot, and Cole Hamels tossed  7 2/3 scoreless innings in a 10-0 victory.

Nomar Mazara added a two-run shot in the sixth to push the Rangers into double figures. Each of their 10 runs came with two outs.

The Rangers scored eight runs in the first two innings, including five in the second, and chased Angels starter Ricky Nolasco after only 1 2/3 innings. Beltre collected two hits, leaving him 23 shy of 3,000, and his three RBIs moved him past fellow third baseman Mike Schmidt and into a tie for 32nd with another third baseman, George Brett, with 1,596.

Schmidt and Brett are both in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Before the game, Beltre said that the Rangers still have plenty of time remaining to assert themselves in the American League wild-card standings, which showed the Rangers 3 1/2 games out entering after their Thursday off day.

When informed of the possibility that the Rangers have only this month to convince the front office that they are contenders or otherwise could become sellers, Beltre asserted himself.

“I don’t want that to happen,” Beltre said. “I would rather our team start playing better and take those thoughts out of JD’s mind, if that’s going through his mind, because I do not want that to be the case here.

“Yes, we are a little far back from the division lead, but I don’t think we’re far away from the wild card. Even though we haven’t played the way we wanted to, we’re still in it if we get a good streak and play better in the second half. But you never know what can happen in the minds of the front office.”

Ownership also has an impact on those decisions, but a source said that so far Daniels is under no orders to cut salary. The Rangers have discussed trading catcher Jonathan Lucroy with other clubs, presumably for bullpen help, but the value of the deal must exceed the potential negative effect a trade could have.

That goes for any of the Rangers’ trade candidates.

Lucroy doubled in two first-inning runs and helped Hamels navigate through his best start of the season. Hamels, pulled after 95 pitches in his third start off the disabled list after missing nearly two months because of a strained right oblique, is among the injured players who have returned over the past month and left the Rangers with the rotation and lineup they planned to have during spring training.

They want to see that mesh and take off, combined with rebounds from players like Lucroy, who has called his performance to date “terrible,” and just about every reliever.

The second half begins with a 10-game road trip, with two series against clubs ahead of them in the wild-card standings. The Rangers should be rested and ready.

“We have positioned ourselves in a spot where we have to start playing well, play consistently, win baseball games,” manager Jeff Banister said. “I think the All-Star break ... these four days can help recharge a club that can use some of that. We know what it’s like when we see the team that has all the parts and they are fresh.”

If everything goes as Daniels expects it, the Rangers won’t be deadline sellers.

“My expectation is we’re going to be in this thing,” he said.

Los Angeles

000

000

000

0

3

0

Texas

350

002

00x

10

12

0

Los Angeles AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Maybin cf

3

0

0

0

0

1

.248

Franklin lf

1

0

0

0

0

1

.189

Calhoun rf

3

0

0

0

0

2

.248

Revere cf

0

0

0

0

0

0

.231

Pujols dh

3

0

2

0

0

0

.242

Escobar 3b

3

0

0

0

0

0

.288

Simmons ss

1

0

0

0

1

1

.285

Pennington ss

1

0

0

0

0

1

.241

Maldonado c

3

0

1

0

0

0

.251

Graterol c

0

0

0

0

0

0

.250

Cron 1b

3

0

0

0

0

1

.207

Espinosa 2b

3

0

0

0

0

2

.163

Young Jr. lf-rf

3

0

0

0

0

0

.260

Totals 27

0

3

0

1

9

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Choo dh

4

1

0

0

1

0

.251

Gomez cf

5

0

0

0

0

4

.250

Mazara rf

3

3

2

3

2

0

.259

Beltre 3b

4

2

2

3

0

0

.289

Gallo 1b

0

0

0

0

0

0

.194

Odor 2b

4

2

3

2

0

1

.222

Lucroy c

4

0

1

2

0

0

.255

Napoli 1b

3

0

1

0

1

0

.194

Kozma pr-3b

0

0

0

0

0

0

.114

Profar ss

4

1

1

0

0

0

.172

DeShields lf

3

1

2

0

0

0

.284

Totals 34

10

12

10

4

5

LOB—Los Angeles 1, Texas 5. 2B—Lucroy (14). HR—Beltre (6), off Nolasco; Odor (17), off Nolasco; Mazara (12), off Morin. RBIs—Mazara 3 (55), Beltre 3 (25), Odor 2 (40), Lucroy 2 (25). S—DeShields. DP—Los Angeles 1, Texas 3.

Los Angeles

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Nolasco, L 4-10

1 2/3

7

8

8

2

2

66

5.06

Petit

1 1/3

0

0

0

1

0

18

2.84

Paredes

2

0

0

0

1

1

32

3.86

Morin

2

4

2

2

0

1

31

6.91

Middleton

1

1

0

0

0

1

17

4.00

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Hamels, W 4-0

7 2/3

3

0

0

1

6

95

3.51

Jeffress

 1/3

0

0

0

0

1

5

5.40

Grilli

1

0

0

0

0

2

9

6.35

T—2:49. A—40,276 (48,114).

Rangers vs. Angels

8:05 p.m. Saturday, FSSW

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