With eight days left until the trading deadline, July 31, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels sounded confident, but at the same time reiterated the Rangers need to closely monitor pitching options.
In particular, starting pitching.
“We’ve talked about our depth all year and I think this is where that depth is huge,” GM Jon Daniels said Sunday. “I think it helps us minimized the need to panic. And we are going to keep that depth in mind. We will continue to monitor situations and have conversations, but I don’t think we have 100 percent of the picture either.” SporstDayDFW
After losing two of three games to the Los Angeles Angels this weekend, the Rangers still maintain a five-game lead in the National League West.
Since the All-Star break, the Rangers are 4-4 and begin an important 10 game homestand tonight against the Boston Red Sox. Starting pitching is anything but set for the Rangers.
Oswalt thinks that he will only miss one start, and therein lies a problem for the Rangers. Oswalt has a history of back problems, and can present themselves at any time.
Colby Lewis , who is scheduled to start on Tuesday will be scratched with recurring forearm tendinitis that has not healed with the rest and anti-inflammatory medications. LHP Martin Perez on will take his turn on Tuesday.
Neftali Perez is in a rehab assignment from an elbow strain. He has struggled in his first two starts, with command and will likely need one or two more starts before being recalled, which puts the Rangers past the July 31 trading deadline.
“He’s healthy,” Daniels said. “But he just hasn’t been very good. I think we’d like to see him have a little more success.”
The Rangers need either Oswalt or Hunter to the available, the healthy, and be consistent. The Rangers got to see firsthand what the Angels are capable of doing this weekend. both teams will play six games before meeting each other again for a four-game series.
The Angels play the Kansas City Royals and the Tampa Bay Rays , both in three-game series, for the next six games. The Rangers play the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox.
A five-game lead could quickly evaporate and lead to a showdown series with the Angels on July 30th.
Rangers Options For Starting Pitching
The Rangers will use the next six games to further evaluate the health of both Oswalt and Lewis as well as the health of the pitching staff overall. eventually they may reach the conclusion that Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish aren’t going to be enough. History suggests, that if the Rangers feel that way they will make you move.
Zack Greinke, Cole Hamels, Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster and Francisco Liriano have all been the subject of trade deadline rumors. Wih the exception of Hamels all the names on that list will likely be dealt before the deadline, and the Rangers have likely discussed all of them, at least internally.
With the Phillies pushing hard to make a deal with Hamels , they may be willing to move Cliff Lee. Lee would be under the club’s control through 2015. However, Lee would come at a significant cost in salary.
Lee has three years left on his contract and $88 million due. While the Phillies may be willing to take on some of that salary, at 34 Lee may be more rest than the Rangers are ready to assume.
With the Miami Marlins beginning to fade, other names have surfaced as possibilities. Josh Johnson and Annibal Sanchez may become available, should the Marlins decide they are sellers.
Like a lot of major league baseball teams, this is decision week for the Rangers.