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Some stuff out there to check out...

Joe Sheehan looks at the players available at the trade deadline, and includes this assessment of Jon Daniels vis-a-vis Mark Teixeira:

Here's the problem Jon Daniels is faced with: he has, objectively, the best tradeable player in the market, and that player is signed through next season. Daniels, however, has gotten absolutely obliterated in the two big trades he's made, dealing Alfonso Soriano, Chris Young, and Adrian Gonzalez for Brad Wilkerson, Adam Eaton, and Akinori Otsuka. Even with a contract extension, he has to be feeling pressure to make the perfect trade, and since Teixeira is a pretty stable stock, and likely to continue being good for a while, he has to extract maximum value to avoid being perceived as a failure as a GM.

I defended the two big deals Daniels made, but both have turned out poorly, and the money he's spent in the free-agent market--and on a ridiculous overpay for Michael Young's decline phase--has been wasted. If he trades Teixeira, the Rangers' best player, for a package that is perceived as 60 cents on the dollar, or if the trade turns out as badly as the first two he made, he's done as the team's GM. It's tempting to say that's not fair, but you can't hand-wave away that kind of track record, no matter what you think of the GM's intelligence and approach. You have to grade the guys you like the same way the guys you don't.

Also from BP, there's a Kevin Goldstein chat up, which includes a mention of the Rangers as one of the most improved systems since the start of the year, and fields a question I asked about the Clinton pitchers...

Evan Grant has some harsh criticism of the Buster Olney comments linked earlier (with an always-appreciated nod towards us at LSB)...

Jean-Jacques "No one obsesses about the Rangers" Taylor will be doing a chat session tomorrow morning at the DMN website...let's have some fun with this, and send him some good Rangers questions. Click here to email a question, or click here tomorrow at 11 a.m. to join the chat and send in some questions live...

Our friend Scott Lucas jumps on the Wilkerson-for-MVP bandwagon (just kidding, Scott)...

We have a blog entry at the S-T about how Jerry Hairston has been in a slump this year, but he's still contributing with with his versatility in the field and his defense. Given that this season's .199/.257/.316 line isn't much different than last season's .206/.270/.253 line, I don't know that he's slumping so much as settling at a particular level of sucktitude.

I've mentioned this before, but one of the more irritating things that Ron Washington displayed this spring was his willingness to make decisions based on a couple of weeks' performance in the spring, that outweighed all previous evidence. We saw this with the mid-March decision to make Hairston Kenny Lofton's platoon partner in center (resulting in Matt Kata making the team instead of Marlon Byrd, since Hairston was taking over Byrd's 4th outfielder role and the team then needed a backup infielder), the decision that the Rangers couldn't afford to lose the "electric" Jamey Wright (which meant Kam Loe lost a month when he should have been in the rotation), and Scott Feldman sticking in the bullpen instead of Wes Littleton.