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Ranger trade deadline: little smoke, no fire (yet)

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With the trade deadline tomorrow, the Rangers are reportedly calling around, but no move seems imminent

Ronald Martinez

The non-waiver trade deadline is tomorrow afternoon, and right now, the situation with the Rangers seems to be the same as it has been the past week or so: they're interested in a bat, they want a difference-making, impact bat under team control beyond this season, but there appears to be nothing on the horizon.

Ken Rosenthal has a blog post up in which is says the Rangers are calling on Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Giancarlo Stanton, but Stanton won't be moved and Encarnacion and Bautista would require major league talent. He also suggests that the Dodgers could theoretically be a fit for a Joe Nathan deal, with either Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford (plus a chunk of cash) coming to Texas, but thinks that's very unlikely, as well.

The Mariners reportedly don't want to sell, which takes Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse out of the mix. The Giants seem to have reluctantly gone into sell mode, but their price tag on Hunter Pence is apparently higher than the Rangers are interested in doing. Reports indicate Texas isn't interested in Alex Rios.

Michael Young appears to be on the move -- there's rumors that the Phillies are promoting third baseman Cody Asche, which would suggest Young is getting dealt today -- but reports have indicated Texas isn't looking to bring him back.

A name that has been bandied lately is Jason Kubel, the superfluous Arizona outfielder. Kubel isn't much defensively, and he hasn't hit this season (.234/.312/.356), but he likely wouldn't cost anything, and if Nelson Cruz is, in fact, going to be suspended, and is going to accept his suspension rather than appeal, Kubel is at least a warm body who could fill in and maybe give the team more than they'd get from Chris McGuiness or Joey Butler or Manny Ramirez.

So we will wait while the clock continues to count down. Jon Daniels may pull a rabbit out of a hat, may decide to bite the bullet and pay a steep price for a Pence or a Morales, but right now, it looks more likely this is the team the Rangers are going to roll with the rest of the way.