Kevin Sherrington has a column up today, saying that the Rangers came into the season planning on building towards 2010, and that the team needs to continue to focus on 2010, rather than sacrificing the long-term for short-term gains this year.
Whether or not you agree with Sherrington, the reality is that the Rangers' realistic options for making a move for the short-term right now are limited. Tom Hicks isn't going to add payroll, so unless someone takes Vicente Padilla or Hank Blalock off your hands, you aren't going to be able to get someone expensive without the team dealing the player paying the contract.
And if the team giving up the player is also paying that player's contract, you are going to have to kick in a quality prospect on top of what you're already giving up as part of the deal...and do you really want to put Blake Beavan or Wilfredo Boscan in a deal that is probably already costing you a Kasey Kiker or a Jose Vallejo or a Engel Beltre (or a couple of those guys) so that you don't have to pay a few million for the rest of the year?
The idea that there's a market out there for Blalock, meanwhile, continues to circulate, but think about it...if a team is willing to take Blalock off the Rangers' hands, doesn't it seem likely that that same team would just as soon go pursue whoever the hitter is the Rangers would be adding to replace Blalock in the first place? If the Rangers want to replace Blalock with, say, Nick Johnson, and want to foist Blalock on, for example, the Giants, wouldn't the Giants just cut out the middle man and get Johnson themselves?
The Rangers are also, of course, waiting for the imminent return of Josh Hamilton, who may go back to center field, or may not...and if the team decides they have to limit Hamilton's exposure to the field, and play him more at DH, then the available options for bringing someone on board to help the offense are even more limited. Folks want to bring in a first baseman to replace Chris Davis, but the number of first basemen out there who would represent a significant upgrade over what Davis would be expected to do over the rest of the season, and who would be affordable, and who wouldn't cost a mint in prospects, appears to be slight.
With the rotation, meanwhile, if you aren't going to get a Roy Halladay-type horse, there doesn't seem much point in making a move. Is it really worth giving up prospects to add Jon Garland to the mix, for the purpose of bumping Derek Holland to the pen?
So the Rangers seem likely to do what Sherrington is advocating, and while they'll be kicking the tires, I don't see a major move coming down the pipe. And that's not necessarily because they don't want to make a move for the short-term...it is because the financial situation of the team, and the way the roster is currently constructed, is such that the number of moves available out there right now that really make sense for the team just isn't that great.