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Saturday morning things

Crappy loss yesterday, dropping the team to a game under .500 and 2.5 games out of first place. The Rangers are once again closer to last than to first, although they are still close enough to make up the difference.

The big news, of course, is the Miguel Tejada rumors. If the Rangers could get Tejada for Blalock, Arias, and Thomas Diamond, they have to pull the trigger on that deal. That's a no-brainer.

Will Carroll says the Angels turned down an offer of Tejada for Howie Kendrick, Scot Sheilds, and Ervin Santana. They are supposedly willing to part with Santana and Erick Aybar, though.

A roundup on some reactions to the Lee trade:

Ken Rosenthal seems to like it, but that's in large part because he thinks the Rangers still need pitching, and the deal didn't sacrifice any of the prospects that they would look to use in a deal for pitching.

Marc Normandin at Beyond the Box Score thinks the Rangers did well.

Will Carroll offers his thoughts in a chat session currently up at BP.

Baseball America has a breakdown of the deal, with the Rangers getting some love for getting Nelson Cruz as part of the deal.

Our friends at Brew Crew Ball are unhappy that Doug Melvin dealt with Texas instead of Anaheim.

The Brewers, incidentally, also made a deal yesterday to acquire David Bell.

In other Rangers news...

Kevin Sherrington says the g.m. is showing more faith in the players than the players deserve, and that the Rangers still need to add a starting pitcher or three.

Jim Reeves is singing the praises of Jon Daniels, as well, contrasting him with his predecessor. Reeves, though, wrongly says that Tom Hicks needs to sign Carlos Lee long-term to make this position on this is on the record, of course...

Kat O'Brien has a piece on the deal, including some good quotes from Daniels:

We feel pretty strongly [Lee] can be a big piece for us as we make a run for the pennant," Daniels said. "...We would not have been comfortable making the deal if it was exclusively for a two-month rental. We wouldn't have done it without [Cruz]."

The Rangers and Brewers finally agreed on a six-player trade after midnight Thursday. Lee, a two-time All-Star, and Cruz went to Texas, and former All-Star closer Francisco Cordero, outfielder Kevin Mench, Triple A outfielder Laynce Nix and Class A left-handed pitcher Julian Cordero (no relation) moved to Milwaukee.

* * *

"This deal is about two things," Daniels said. "No. 1 is that I believe in this club. We feel Carlos gives us a better chance to win this year. And two, it's about continuing to build the core [with Cruz]. We looked at this as a win-now, win-later deal."

You know what jumps out at me about those quotes? The fact that Daniels refers to Lee as a two-month rental, and says nothing about bringing him back after this year. I think Daniels has a pretty good idea what Carlos Lee is going to want to stay out of the free agent pool, and made this deal with the idea that Lee was likely going to leave after the season.

In case you missed it, the Rangers optioned Freddy Guzman to AAA to make room for Nelson Cruz, and called up Josh Rupe to replace Francisco Cordero in the bullpen, while Kam Loe will be making at least one more rehab appearance before returning to the major leagues.

I touched on this yesterday, but one of the things that I liked about this deal is Jon Daniels taking advantage of an organizational strength in dealing Cordero. We've talked before about how smart organizations can cobble together bullpens without overpaying for relievers...and the Rangers currently have a lot of good, young, cheap options for the bullpen that made Cordero expendable in this trade.

Behind Otsuka, you've got Littleton, Rupe, Feldman, and (when they get healthy) Loe and Francisco to choose from, not to mention Rick Bauer and Joaquin Benoit, who are still hanging around. This organization is flush with bullpen arms, and the fact that Daniels is willing to part with a "proven" guy and go with a group with less of a track record speaks volumes.

Of course, the Rangers got Otsuka in that deal with San Diego that has been so widely criticized, with Jan Hubbard saying the Lee deal makes the San Diego trade look better.

I'm not buying that...if the Rangers had Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young still here, they wouldn't be in such dire need for a bat and a starting pitcher, given how well those two have produced this year.