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In the S-T today, John Hart says he plans on meeting with Tom Hicks after the season, discuss the team's budget for 2006, and see what options are available in the free agent market to improve the pitching staff.

You know, it is a bit sad that that is actually news...

Meanwhile, Showalter, Hershiser and Mark Teixeira all praised Juan Dominguez's strong start last night, which was one of the more promising outings the team has seen from him since he's been up.

Showalter also said that Phil Nevin will likely be starting at DH on Saturday and Sunday, with lefties going for the D-Rays, which means Gonzalez likely goes to the bench for the weekend.

Sullivan also writes:

But club officials acknowledge they will eventually have to do something about the logjam at first base and DH behind Mark Teixeira.

The Rangers have Nevin, Gonzalez and prospect Jason Botts, who can play the outfield, but is predominantly a first baseman and DH for Triple A Oklahoma.

Botts and Gonzalez have both played well enough at AAA to have earned a look on the major league team in 2006. The most logical scenario would seem to be to send Nevin to whomever will take him, pick up most of his remaining salary, and see if you can get a fringe prospect back.

This offseason, see if you can package Gonzalez in a deal to bring back a quality starting pitcher under team control for a couple of years. His trade value should be higher than Botts' right now, and I don't know that Botts is going to command enough in a trade to make it worthwhile to deal him.

If you can't find the right deal to move Gonzalez, it might make the most sense to move Teixeira to right field, put Gonzalez at first base, put Botts at the DH slot, and go forward that way. That is going to involve a serious infusion of youth -- particularly if Ian Kinsler and Gerald Laird are both starters next season -- but it would probably be the best way to go, and would free up a significant amount of cash to spend on starting pitching.

Finally, the DMN's Todd Wills has his weekly farm report out today, with the feature being on Bakersfield third baseman Travis Metcalf.