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Bah. Irritating loss yesterday. McCarthy wasn't sharp, but still, he and the bullpen pitched well enough that the Rangers should have won. But the offense didn't do anything until the 9th inning...and realistically, this isn't a real good offense right now, so this is the sort of thing I feel we are going to have to get used to.

Evan Grant says the McCarthy/Danks trade looks a lot better now than it did at the end of April, with McCarthy pitching well, Danks going through some rookie struggles, and Nick Masset having been sent back to the minors.

Grant also reports that the Rangers are leaning towards trying to extend Eric Gagne, rather than trading him, and dealing Joaquin Benoit instead.

If the Rangers can extend Gagne for 3 years or so, I'd be on board with that. You've got a guy who is one of the best relievers in major league history, who appears to be back from the injury problems that sidelined him. If you can get him locked up, you are going a long way towards maintaining the bullpen's position as the strength of the team. And while I think you can build a bullpen easier than other areas, and that the closer role is overrated, there's a difference between a Doug Jones or Joe Borowski or Ryan Dempster type of "bleah" closer, and a truly dominant reliever like Gagne.

As for Benoit, he'll be a free agent after 2008, so it isn't like dealing him would be breaking up the core of the team...he can walk before Akinori Otsuka can. If someone wants to give up significant prospects for Benoit, then pull the trigger.

Richard Durrett has a farm report up, that focuses primarily on Chris Davis. A lot of good quotes in there about the progress Davis has made as a player and the work he's done with the hitting coaches on learning pitchers and adjusting his approach with two strikes. It makes you feel more optimistic that he's going to be able to continue to make the adjustments necessary to succeed on the upper levels.

The article also indicates that the Rangers aren't planning on moving Davis off of third base anytime soon...despite his ridiculous error totals, they think Davis will be able to handle the position. I think it says a lot about the team's perception of Davis's maturity level and makeup, that they feel he can handle making a position switch and the difficulties that go with that without him getting down on himself or losing his confidence.

Gil Lebreton has a column up on Sammy Sosa, talking about how good he has been this year, how he won't be released, and how those who want Jason Botts up are going to have to bide their time and wait while he plays in Oklahoma. He also seems baffled that no one wants to trade for Sosa...I guess he hasn't checked out his stats (other than his homer and RBI totals) lately...

The Akron Beacon-Journal has an item on Kenny Lofton and the rumors of a trade to the Indians, with Lofton saying that if Cleveland traded for him, he'd be willing to play a corner outfield slot, since Grady Sizemore is entrenched in centerfield.