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A lot of stuff out there today to cover...and if you haven't already, make sure you look at Evan Grant's draft piece I discussed in last night's post.

There's a lot of Teixeira trade talk out there, and Ken Davidoff's article includes a mention that "Teixeira's hometown Orioles 'want him bad,' according to one official familiar with negotiations." He lists Andrew Miller, Cameron Maybin, and Philip Hughes as guys the Rangers really like, but also acknowledges that the Rangers aren't likely to get one of them.

And the Baltimore Suns notes that Orioles V.P. Jim Duquette was sitting with Scott Boras last night, although Duquette denied that there was any Teixeira talk.

The problem with Baltimore being in on Teixeira is that they may really want him, but they don't have a ton to offer. Adam Loewen is on the shelf with a stress fracture in his elbow, and Nick Markakis isn't going anywhere so long as Peter Angelos owns the team. Billy Rowell would probably have to be the centerpiece of an Oriole proposal, and if you could get Loewen and Rowell, I think that's probably going to be the best offer out there.

Davidoff also suggests that teams are interested in Sammy Sosa, although I still don't think they'll get more in return for him.

The Newark Star-Ledger says that Teixeira will be dealt, although no one knows if it will be this summer or next winter. They also list Baltimore as the one team that might pay dearly for him...

The Oakland Tribune has a lot of Rangers stuff this morning, a lot of it focusing on former A's coach Ron Washington:

Texas manager Ron Washington has seen the 2007 Rangers long enough to know that his club needs an extreme makeover. The Rangers must clean house. All-star first baseman Mark Teixeira is available. The slugger is a free agent after the 2008 season. He won't be in Texas much longer.

Tigers first baseman Sean Casey has little power. Multiple injuries have slowed the Tigers' chances of repeating as AL pennant winners. Tigers have quality minor leaguers waiting for a chance. Lefty Andrew Miller will be a star. Outfielder Cameron Maybin is another highly regarded Tigers farmhand. Teixeira to Detroit just might be enough to hold off the Twins and Indians until the injured Tigers players return.

-Texas' Akinori Otsuka is a reliable eighth-inning setup man. The Cubs have many problems in the clubhouse but can win the NL Central if they straighten out their bullpen. Otsuka and center fielder Kenny Lofton to Chicago for outfielder Matt Murton, plus pitchers Angel Guzman and Carlos Marmol would lower Cubs skipper Lou Piniella's blood pressure.

-The Giants need a veteran closer to anchor their'pen. With a starting rotation that ranks with the best in the NL, a closer who has been through the pressure of a pennant race will help keep the Giants in the race. GM Brian Sabean should make an offer to the Rangers for Eric Gagne. The former Dodger still has the stuff to make big league hitters look silly.

-Give Washington young players he can teach, and he'll bring the Rangers back to respectability. Until then, Texas is the worst team in the league.

This is sounding uncomfortably like the situation when Buck Showalter got here...a bunch of players who have to be cleaned out so that a group of raw youngsters can be taught to play the "right way."

The Boston Globe mentions the possibility of a Teixeira-to-Anaheim deal, although questioning whether the Rangers would deal him within the division. I wouldn't have a big problem with it, since it is unlikely Teixeira would be in Anaheim beyond 2008, and Anaheim has a ton of good prospects to deal. The bigger issue is that Bill Stoneman has been reluctant to part with his top minor leaguers in the past, and I don't know that he'd break that pattern now.

The other thing of note in the Globe piece is that the Rangers would then spend the money that they would save by dealing Teixeira on pitching. What pitching, exactly, does anyone think the Rangers are going to spend money on? Outside of Carlos Zambrano, is there any stud starting pitcher in the free agent market that is going to be worth spending big dollars on? I just wish journalists would stop this reflexive, "The Rangers have to get rid of expensive positional players to spend money on pitching" mentality...

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says that Torii Hunter is likely to be a Ranger next season, and pegs the contract at $75 million over 5 years. That's way too much for Hunter, a guy who has a good bat for a centerfielder but isn't a great hitter, and whose defense is presumably going to deteriorate as he heads towards his mid-30s. A team with Michael Young and Torii Hunter as its highest priced players isn't likely to be a very good team.

Turning to things at hand, Evan Grant says that Kam Loe's struggles the second and third times through the order are starting to establish that he's a much better reliever than a starter:

Batters are now hitting .299, barely acceptable, against Loe through the first 45 pitches. After that, it rises to .330.

Both numbers are up over his first three seasons but still true to the trend. He is most effective once through the order. From 2004 through 2006, Loe allowed hitters a .266 average in the first 45 pitches; after that it rose to .314.

Loe does not have overpowering stuff and relies heavily on his sinking fastball. Because of it, he usually has to show hitters just about everything in his arsenal the first time he faces them. Thus, they are ready to make adjustments the next time through the order.

I've been supportive of riding things out with Loe, but I'm started to waver a bit. The problem is that the three guys Grant mentions as alternatives -- Jamey Wright, Mike Wood, and John Rheinecker -- are all pretty underwhelming. If you bump Loe to the pen, I think you have to think long and hard about doing something several folks here have been advocating for a while, and taking a look at C.J. Wilson in the rotation.

Grant also has some notes up that include some comments about Ian Kinsler's mental errors:

Ian Kinsler has committed the second-most errors in baseball this season (11) and made a costly mental mistake Friday when he forgot how many outs there were. Instead of trying to start a double play, he threw to first and then started to run off the field. It was the second out of the inning.

"It's not the physical part of it," manager Ron Washington said. "It's the focus and the concentration. I had the same problem with Miguel [Tejada] and Eric [Chavez] in Oakland. Eventually you learn how to slow the game down. It's an adjustment he still has to make."

Grant also reports that Joaquin Arias is back on the shelf, after trying to play some in the field in extended spring training. I had noted before that Arias was going to be out of options after next season, but at the rate we're going, he's going to end up not using an option this season.

Galloway has a Rangers column up today, which features a little sniping at Hicks and Daniels, but which mostly focuses on Sammy Sosa's return and imminent departure.