Remarkable game pitched by Rich Harden last night. You could tell after the first inning that he had his best stuff last night, and he just never let up. Outstanding, outstanding job by Harden...that's one of the best games I've ever seen pitched...
Turning to Rangers things...Evan Grant has a little piece on Kam Loe's emergence as a setup man. I like Loe in that role, and hope that the Rangers keep him utilized as a setup man.
Mark Teixeira says he's willing to take long-term deal after the season, albeit not in a way that makes you too optimistic:
"I've said all along that I'd be willing to listen to any offers," Teixeira said. "I'd definitely want them to talk to my agent. That's why I have an agent."
T.R. Sullivan writes in the S-T about the Rangers' trade talks. The guys Sullivan identifies as players the Rangers are interested in:
- A.J. Burnett of the Marlins. Great arm. The Rangers supposedly love him. He's also a free agent after the season, is likely going to be getting over $10 million per year for 4-5 years from whoever signs him after the season, and has a spotty track record and a poor injury history. The Marlins supposedly want a young starter, a major league reliever, and another player for Burnett, so I can't see the Rangers making a deal unless the price comes down dramatically. And even in that case, I'm not a big Burnett fan...
- Vicente Padilla of the Phillies. Padilla came over from the D-Backs in the Curt Schilling trade, and after a couple of seasons as a productive starter, was mediocre last year and has been awful this year. The Phillies were supposedly going to DFA him over the break, but apparently have held off. I wouldn't mind taking a flyer on him, but I don't want to give up anything of value for him.
- Mike Sweeney of the Royals. He's been discussed at length. The Royals want Kevin Mench, who, right now, may be a better player than Sweeney. As long as they are asking for Mench, a deal makes zero sense. I like Sweeney, and think he'd be a nice fit here, but his contract is onerous. If he's a salary dump, fine, I'll take him. If the Royals want to eat some of his contract, I'll talk prospects. But if the Royals want the Rangers to take his whole contract and give up a couple of good prospects, then I'm not interested.
- Vernon Wells of the Blue Jays. The Jays supposedly want Mark Teixeira as part of a Wells deal. I wrote about a Teixeira-for-Wells deal last October, and my opinion hasn't changed, other than to get even more anti-trading-Teixeira.
Finally, the "Rockies Mailbag" in the Denver Post has a question about the Rockies going after Alfonso Soriano, prompting this response:
Jim - The Rockies loved Alfonso Soriano back in 2001, and they tried like heck to pry him away to become their every day left fielder. Even with the humidor, it's scary to think about the type of numbers Soriano could put up in Coors Field. Former Rockies catcher Gary Bennett told me once that when Soriano makes contact with a ball it sounds like a gun going off. He insisted that Barry Bonds was the only other hitter at that time - this was 2002 - that produced such a racket on impact.
Back to the subject of Soriano and the Rockies, I don't see it. The Rockies would prefer for prospect Jayson Nix to commandeer that position eventually, but his second consecutive down offseason in Double-A is creating real concern about his future.