Bah. Crappy series, capped off by a really crappy game yesterday. The same sort of godawful starting pitching that was killing the Rangers early in the year. The Rangers are a game under .500 since the break, and still 3 back of third place Oakland, in what will have to suffice as a pennant race for right now.
Evan Grant says Michael Young isn't happy about the Rangers trading Mark Teixeira and Eric Gagne. Grant is too gracious to point out that one of the reasons the Rangers are sellers, rather than buyers, is the giant egg Young has laid this season, on the heels of his enormous contract extension.
We've got some promotions in the minors, with Chris Davis jumping up to Frisco, and Johnny Whittleman taking his place in Bakersfield. It is interesting...at the beginning of the season, there was much lamenting over the lack of any quality prospects at Frisco, other than Eric Hurley. Now, we've got Davis, Taylor Teagarden, Brandon Boggs, German Duran, and John Mayberry, Jr. -- all legit prospects -- playing for Frisco, along with some interesting, if more fringy, pitching prospects like Armando Galarraga, Doug Mathis, Luis Mendoza, and Paul Kometani.
It will be interesting to see how Whittleman responds to the promotion...he's slumped dramatically in the last month, but there have been suggestions that a new challenge might kick him back into gear.
Now, to the trade stuff...
The Arizona Republic mentions the D-Backs' interest in Mark Teixeira, although they only name Conor Jackson and Carlos Gonzalez among those who might go to Texas. Again, unless the D-Backs kick in Brett Anderson (or one of their starting outfielders, which I don't think they'd do), I don't think the D-Backs can match the other offers out there.
The Braves' decision to DFA Wil Ledezma seems to make it more likely that Ron Mahay will end up in Atlanta. And really, I wouldn't mind the Rangers bringing Ledezma back in a deal with Atlanta, and see what they can do with him. He's a lefty and he throws hard, and thus is worth taking a flyer on.
Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the Braves need to get Mark Teixeira. With the Atlanta media and the clubhouse agitating to add Teixeira, one would think that that could only help the Rangers...
Randy Youngman of the Orange County Register believes that if Bill Stoneman doesn't pull the trigger on a big trade, and the Angels don't win it all this year, he'll get booted upstairs and replaced by a more aggressive g.m. Youngman also advocates doing a Kotchman, Santana, and Saunders deal for Teixeira, although he says the Angels should pass if they have to give up both Brandon Wood and Nick Adenhart.
The L.A. Daily News quotes an anonymous source as saying that the report that the Dodgers offered Loney, Ethier and Meloan for Teixeira and Benoit is false.
Joel Sherman has a piece up on the Yankees' pursuit of Eric Gagne, and says that the Yankees position is that they won't give up a "significant prospect." It is almost as if the Yanks have gotten so used to acquiring players via salary dumps (see, i.e., Bobby Abreu last year) that they've forgotten how to act when there's a player they want who isn't being given away for salary reasons.
Anyway, the Sherman piece is pretty interesting...he says that Philip Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, and Ian Kennedy are still off-limits, but the Yankees may be willing to move Alan Horne, which doesn't do much for me (at least, if we are talking Gagne). We also have this:
"I don't think [the Rangers] want multiple players as much as they want one premium guy," an NL assistant GM said.
An AL assistant GM said: "They are not looking to give [Gagne] away. If they can get a solid prospect for him, they would move him."
I think the "premium guy" comment is also reflected in the Rangers pursuit of a trade partner for Teixeira, and why they aren't jumping all over something like Kotchman and Saunders, preferring to try to hold out for a "premium guy" like Adenhart, Saltalamacchia, or Kershaw...
The Newark Star-Ledger, on the other hand, calls the reports of the Yanks' interest in Teixeira and Gagne "exaggerated."
And the Detroit Free Press indicates that the Tigers appear to be out on Gagne.