BP's Christina Kahrl did a chat session last night, and it includes this Q&A on the Rangers:
RCCook (Dallas TX): What move (or moves) should Jon Daniels be looking at between now and the trade deadline to improve the Rangers' chances of winning the AL West?
Christina Kahrl: A truly difficult question to answer, because we don't know what to expect from Adam Eaton, and how soon. Yes, a quality #2 starter would make October a lot more attractive, lest this Rangers team wind up like all of those ones that could get by with Roger Pavlik or John Burkett. But if Eaton's that guy, you can turn to probably finding another quality reliever. Failing that, I'd just like to see them get over Rod Barajas and play Gerald Laird, but again, that's an in-house fix. I don't think any of us really expect Little Sarge to pan out in center over a full season, so that's an area that I'd address before the pen or the #2 starter issue.
I think Kahrl hits it on the head there...it is really hard at this point to say, "The Rangers have to make a move to shore up X," because of the number of uncertainties still out there.
Jamey Newberg hit on this in his report this morning, noting that the pending returns of Frankie Francisco, Josh Rupe, and Adam Eaton make targeting a bullpen arm or a starting pitcher a bit premature right now. Jamey suggests going after Carlos Lee, and suggests that a package of Mench or Nix, Thomas Diamond, and Joaquin Benoit might be a starting point for discussions...but at this point, I don't know that Carlos Lee really represents much, if any, upgrade over Kevin Mench.
And as it is, the Rangers are already shuffling DeRosa, Wilkerson, Mench and Botts amongst the corner outfield and DH slots, with Botts getting shorted the most at this point...if you deal Nix instead of Mench, you have a definite overload in those slots, unless the team sends Jason Botts back to Oklahoma and returns Mark DeRosa to his utilityman role.
If the Rangers are in the race in July, then there will likely be a move or two that will need to be made. But until we see how things shake out over the next month or so, and we see whether Dumpmaster keeps hitting, whether Botts continues to handle major league pitching, whether Koronka, Loe and Rheinecker continue to deserve rotation slots, and whether the injured pitchers are going to be able to contribute, there's just no real telling what the team is going to need.