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The problem with a trade to fix the pen immediately

With Texas in first place in June, and looking like they will (at the very least) be in the race in July when the trade deadline approaches, we can start thinking about what the Rangers' needs are in terms of being buyers.

The answer there seems pretty obvious.  Yeah, potentially centerfield or catcher could be an area to address, and it would be nice if you could add a Greinke or someone of that ilk to the starting rotation, but the real focus seems likely to be on the bullpen. 

John Perrotto mentions that the Rangers would "consider" trading David Murphy for pitching help, although they'd prefer to deal Julio Borbon.  Murphy, however, would seem to be a player a contender would be interested in, rather than a rebuilding team...Borbon is the type of player a team out of the race would look at.

In any case, there is some question about why the Rangers are waiting to make a deal for relief help, why they aren't pushing to do a deal NOW.  And the short answer to that question is, teams are generally going to want more to part with a veteran early in the season than they are closer to the deadline.  The thinking seems to be that more teams will be willing to bid more for players come July, and you don't want to send the wrong message to your fans by dealing key players before the season is even half over, so you have to get a really strong offer to get a deal done now.

The example is the trade between Detroit and Oakland earlier this week.  Oakland sent David Purcey, a 29 year old mediocre journeyman lefty reliever with a career 5.10 ERA, to Detroit for 26 year old 2B/3B Scott Sizemore, a player who has mashed in the minors but struggled in the majors. 

The consensus was that Detroit overpaid, deciding to cut bait with a promising young player they'd grown tired of waiting on in order to get a quick fix, even though that quick fix wasn't anything special.  An analogous player in the Rangers' system would probably be Chris Davis...and how would you feel if the Rangers dealt Davis for David Purcey, or a similar reliever?

We're going to hear, over the next several weeks, stuff about the Rangers inquiring about just about every relief pitcher (really, probably every pitcher) who might be moved at the deadline.  The Texas front office is going to do their due diligence, kick the tires, see what the price is on options that are out there.

But don't expect anything for at least another month, unless it is someone the Rangers are willing to overpay to get.