ARLINGTON, Texas — With less than two weeks remaining before the Major League trade deadline, the Texas Rangers look once again to be active.
The Rangers will get help on the injury front soon as both utility man Jeff Baker and outfielder Craig Gentry are expected to be activated from the disabled list Friday. The pitching should get a boost next week as Yu Darvish is expected to come off the disabled list to start Monday and Alexi Ogando could do the same Tuesday if his rehab start tonight goes well.
But the boost in health doesn’t mean the Rangers still won’t be in the market for their two primary needs – a right-handed bat and more starting pitching.
“You could really go both ways,” Daniels said. “We’re having conversations on both fronts. I don’t know, sitting here right now, where it’s going to head. We’d like to upgrade the club if we can.”
Foxsports.com reported that the Rangers and Chicago Cubs have had extensive talks for right-hander Matt Garza. A deadline deal for a key player would be nothing new for the Rangers.
In 2010 the Rangers made the deal for Cliff Lee. In 2011 Texas needed bullpen help and acquired both Koji Uehara and Mike Adams. Last year when the Rangers were in the market for a starter, they went to the Cubs for Ryan Dempster.
Daniels said getting healthy is important, but he wants to give his team a chance to win, especially for surviving an injury-laden first half and being just two games out in the American League West.
“We’re going to activate two right-handed hitters tomorrow,” Daniels said. “Then hopefully activate two starting pitchers next week. That will go a long ways towards bringing up back to where we want to be. Obviously our goal is a lot bigger than being in a good position. We’ve got expectations and goals and I’d like to reward the club and help these guys, the way they’ve played.”
Daniels said it’s too early to tell if Manny Ramirez can help the club. Ramirez has hit three homers for Triple A Round Rock but Daniels said he expected Ramirez to be in the minors for few weeks minimum to let him settle in.
Daniels would also like to think Lance Berkman can still contribute to the club. While the Rangers are getting four players back soon, Berkman doesn’t appear to be one of them. Berkman is on the DL with a hip injury but still hasn’t swung a bat.
Daniels said the club would also benefit if some of their current players rebounded from slow starts.
“We could use another bat in the lineup,” Daniels said. “There’s three or four guys that coming in the year that we’re counting on and still are counting on to being regular contributors that haven’t gotten going the way they’re accustomed to. Lance is one of them. In Lance’s case, I think it’s physical. We feel like we can use more offense and we’d like Lance to be part of that equation.”