I always like beating the Mariners. And of course, as always, the guy I've been bagging on has a double and a homer to lead the Rangers offense, while the guy I've been bragging on almost blows a 4 run lead in the 9th.
That, by the way, was only the 5th time in Gagne's career he's allowed 3 or more runs in a relief outing.
Evan Grant's game story is all about Sammy Sosa, and the Rangers' efforts to trade him to make room for Jason Botts.
Robinson Tejeda has been sent to AAA, with the Rangers having given him a program to work on in the hopes that he can make the adjustments he needs to get his command back. Dave Sessions notes that Tejeda is averaging 7.7 walks per 9 innings in his last 11 games, a ridiculous number...
As far as trade deadline stuff goes...
Evan Grant suggests that we could see a package deal, with Mark Teixeira, along with a reliever such as Joaquin Benoit, going to the same team in order to maximize the return. Grant targets the Dodgers, Angels and Braves as the primary potential trade partners.
T.R. Sullivan's mailbag this week is most silly Teixeira trade suggestions, although he also mentions the possibility of Vicente Padilla as the closer if the Rangers deal Akinori Otsuka and Eric Gagne.
Sullivan says interest in Teixeira is heating up, listing the three teams that Grant mentioned, along with the Boston Red Sox, as the leading contenders. Sullivan says that the Rangers' top priority is getting starting pitching back, although they also obviously need some outfield help.
Sessions runs down the likely candidates to be traded, putting the odds of a Lofton trade at 1:2, a Teixeira trade at 3:2, and an Otsuka trade at 3:1, with Mahay, Benoit, Gagne, Wilkerson, Wright and Sosa in the long-shot category.
We continue to hear conflicting stories from the two papers on Sosa...Grant has been saying for a while that Botts is going to be the DH after August 1, while Sessions says in his piece, again, that Sosa will continue to be the Rangers DH the rest of the way, barring a dramatic falloff in production.
The Angels hoped to build a package around Santana and first baseman Casey Kotchman, two players the Rangers had great interest in, but when Santana was demoted to triple-A Salt Lake last week with a 5-11 record and 6.22 earned-run average, talks between the teams cooled.
According to a source familiar with the Rangers' thinking, if they're going to trade their franchise player, a 27-year-old switch-hitter who averaged 35 home runs and 112 RBIs in his first four seasons and is signed through 2008, they need to make a deal their fans and the industry would applaud.
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It's possible talks could heat up again, but it's doubtful the Rangers would deem left-hander Joe Saunders attractive enough to warrant dealing Teixeira, and the Angels have virtually no interest in trading John Lackey or Kelvim Escobar.
Saunders and Kotchman isn't enough to deal Teixeira, and I've never been that high on Ervin Santana. There's no mention of Nick Adenhart, although I'm not sure if that's because the Angels wouldn't give him up, or if the Rangers would want someone closer to being major league ready.
The New York Post says that the Rangers keep pestering the Yankees about Teixeira, but the Yanks just can't be bothered.
And the Wilmington News Journal says that the Phillies have interest in Otsuka, and could be willing to deal Michael Bourn to get him. Bourn is interest, a guy considered a quality defensive centerfielder who has some on base skills. Maybe the Rangers could get Fabio Castro kicked in, as well...