The trade deadline is two weeks away, falling on Aug. 1 this year, and the Texas Rangers have started engaging multiple teams with available starting pitching.
A baseball source said on Monday that the Rangers are looking at three Tampa Bay starting pitchers, though not Chris Archer, and are also interested in San Diego right-hander Andrew Cashner.
Rays left-handers Matt Moore and Drew Smyly and righty Jake Odorizzi are on the Rangers’ radar. Each would come with club control beyond 2016 and would likely require the Rangers to part with multiple prospects, whereas Casher is headed toward free agency and would come with a smaller hit to the farm system.
The Rangers are intrigued by Cashner despite his 5.05 ERA. He allowed one run in six innings Friday to open the second half, and the Rangers like his Texas roots as a native of Conroe and from his TCU days.
They also believe he would be a good fit with pitching coach Doug Brocail.
Relievers aren’t as much of a priority as starters, but the Rangers and New York Yankees have discussed a deal involved Andrew Miller. The lefty would be owed the prorated portion of his $9 million contract this year as well as $9 million each of the next two seasons.
The Rangers would like the Yankees to take on part of Miller’s salary, but that could become a sticking point.
If a deal for Miller doesn’t materialize, the Rangers could attempt to pluck a reliever in the same package for a starter as they did last year when they acquired Jake Diekman as part of the Cole Hamels deal with Philadelphia.