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Jon Daniels: Take My DH...Please!

T.R. Sullivan has the latest on the efforts to move Sammy Sosa:

The Rangers most immediate priority leading up to the July 31 trade deadline is to find a new home for Sammy Sosa.

The Rangers, according to Major League officials, will drive a hard bargain for first baseman Mark Teixeira and relievers Akinori Otsuka and Eric Gagne, but have told teams they will be more than reasonable if somebody is interested in Sosa.

Sosa went into Saturday's game hitting .241 with 14 home runs and a club-leading 63 RBIs, but so far the Rangers have found little in the way of a market for the 38-year-old outfielder/designated hitter. Most teams are still focused on acquiring pitching and the Rangers may have an easier time dealing Jamey Wright than they do Sosa.

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Among American League contenders, the Minnesota Twins have the biggest need for a designated hitter. The Twins, going into Saturday, had just three home runs and 38 RBIs in 81 games from the DH spot but have not shown any interest.

There are more teams in the National League looking for hitting, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres. But Sosa's defensive limitations may make NL teams hesitant to do a deal.

Moving Sosa would open up a spot for Jason Botts, who is hitting .320 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs at Triple-A Oklahoma. The Rangers would like to get him up to the Major Leagues but won't do that until something happens with Sosa.

"Jason will get an opportunity this year," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "But I don't want to call him up until we can get everyday at-bats for him."

When the main writer for the official Rangers' website comes out with an article like this, that tells me the Rangers basically want someone to take Sosa off their hands so they can avoid the p.r. and clubhouse ramifications of releasing him.

I also think it speaks volumes when you can't give away a player with a cheap contract, and when there's more of a market for Jamey Wright.

You'd hope that some g.m. Daniels is tight with would take Sosa off the Rangers hands, with the Rangers paying his salary, so that the Rangers can say they respect Sosa enough to let him join a team in the playoff hunt.