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2. Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers in exchange for 3B Mike Olt and RHP Cody Buckel The Texas...

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2. Cliff Lee to the Texas Rangers in exchange for 3B Mike Olt and RHP Cody Buckel The Texas Rangers need a No. 1 starter to match up in the postseason with the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander, the White Sox’s Chris Sale, the Tampa Bay Rays’ David Price, the New York Yankees’ C.C. Sabathia or the Los Angeles Angels’ Jered Weaver. General manager Jon Daniels tried to pry Zack Greinke away from the Milwaukee Brewers before he was ultimately traded to the Angels. With Felix Hernandez not on the trade market, the only No. 1 starter that could be had is Lee of the Phillies. Mike Olt would solve the Phillies’ third base position and fifth spot in the lineup for the next decade while Buckel should develop into a middle-of-the-rotation starter. With a revised rotation of Lee, Dempster, Harrison, Darvish and Holland, the Rangers would be poised for a third chance at a World Series championship. This would be a painful deal for the Rangers, their championship window is open right now and it could mean the difference between being the first world champion Texas Rangers squad rather than remembered as baseball’s version of the Buffalo Bills.

Jim Bowden, illustrating why he's no longer a general manager.

Through 20 starts in his rookie season, (Daisuke) Matsuzaka was 11-7 with a 3.99 ERA in 130.2...

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Through 20 starts in his rookie season, (Daisuke) Matsuzaka was 11-7 with a 3.99 ERA in 130.2 innings pitched. He had 131 strikeouts and 46 walks. (Yu) Darvish is also 11-7 with a 4.38 ERA in 127 innings. He has 145 strikeouts to go with his 70 walks.

Evan Grant on Yu's first 20 starts

"To me, [Ryan Dempster is] a fourth or fifth starter in the National League," said one scout (not...

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"To me, [Ryan Dempster is] a fourth or fifth starter in the National League," said one scout (not the same one cited earlier) who works for an NL team. "I don't care what his ERA [with the Cubs] is. "It's going to be very difficult for him to pitch in Texas."

From Danny Knobler's column, expressing skepticism that Ryan Dempster can win in the A.L.

FML - Feliz to have Tommy John tomorrow per Newberg

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FML - Feliz to have Tommy John tomorrow per Newberg

I'll continue to hope for something -- ANYTHING -- from Young over the last 2-3 months of the...

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I'll continue to hope for something -- ANYTHING -- from Young over the last 2-3 months of the Rangers' season, even if that something amounts to little more than a dead-cat bounce, but I'm not optimistic. Yeah, he may get back on a nice little two-week, average-driven run, but that won't ameliorate the longer-term problem, which is that he isn't drawing walks and isn't hitting for power. And then he'll slump again, and the seasonal numbers will bottom out ... again. It's a terrible situation, one that's exacerbated by the fact that he is impervious to being benched, and, at this point, my greatest fear is that the status quo will remain in place through October, and his terrible hitting ends up significantly damaging the Rangers' chances of post-season success. And that then he comes back next year, and does the same thing all over again. This is a disaster.

From Joey Matches' latest blog post on Michael Young.

Too good to trade? Profar looks as if he could step in as a major league shortstop by Opening Day...

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Too good to trade? Profar looks as if he could step in as a major league shortstop by Opening Day and be league-average or better, with superstar upside. That combination of immediate return and potential peak could make it impossible for Texas to get sufficient return in any deal; they would have to receive more than one established big leaguer with multiple years of control remaining to come close to the potential value of the first six years of Profar's career.

From Keith Law's ranking of the top prospects on potential "buyers" in terms of trade value. Profar is #1, and Mike Olt also makes the list, at #5.

What is the source of Young’s svengali-like power? I can get how people close to him — journalists,...

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What is the source of Young’s svengali-like power? I can get how people close to him — journalists, other players — can like the guy a whole hell of a lot, but why does it render them unable to view him objectively? Other players apart from maybe Derek Jeter don’t have this problem. Journalists and players who surround them see their strengths and weaknesses and assess them more or less fairly. But not Young. Woe be unto the person who dares suggest that Young is not one of the best players in the game and one of the best leaders to ever wear a uniform. If you say that Young is merely very good and has, at times, not been an ideal leader, you’re a hater. The response will clearly be that I don’t get it. But really, I’m begging someone, anyone, to tell me what it is I don’t understand. What does Michael Young actually provide that causes a guy who gets MVP votes and kudos in total disproportion to his measurable accomplishments to be underrated? If it’s just leadership, why is he considered a leader when other players who have acted in exactly the same way he has (i.e. having little tantrums when asked to move off a position for a better player) considered selfish?

Craig Calcaterra responds to Michael Young being named the most underrated player in baseball.

Here’s the basic truth (as I see it) about the Beras situation that a lot of people don’t want to...

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Here’s the basic truth (as I see it) about the Beras situation that a lot of people don’t want to come out and say: The Rangers were punished thru the process of the investigation for multiple reasons, but mostly due to past indiscretions in the Latin American market, and for the fact that powerful teams in the league took offense to the Rangers approach to signing Beras. The teams in question used their weight and influence within the MLB office to keep the heat on the Rangers, with a desired outcome of having the signing disapproved, the player punished for providing false age documentation to MLB officials, and the team publicly humiliated for past and present events. The past indiscretions I speak of might have happen, or they might not have happened, and I’m not in a position to comment with any authority on the validity of the claims. Director of Player Personnel AJ Preller is often the leading man in these industry whispers, and he’s been under the microscope for several years in the market for behavior that some teams have taken vocal offense to. (And trust me, when I say vocal, I mean a full choir in a big room with fantastic acoustics.) From the Ynoa signing by the A’s, to the Guillermo Pimentel signing by the Mariners, to Profar, to Leonys Martin, to Mazara, to Beras, the Rangers are the dirty word on the page labeled Latin American process, and it has created an ugly cloud around the organization, giving them the label of unscrupulous giants in a region stacked to the ceiling with unscrupulous dealings.

From Jason Parks' piece on the Jairo Beras situation. The whole thing is in his "free" section, and well worth a read.

Rangers games on FOX Sports Southwest in the first half of the season averaged a 6.2 household...

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Rangers games on FOX Sports Southwest in the first half of the season averaged a 6.2 household rating in Dallas-Fort Worth, an 83 percent increase over last year through the same number of games. The 6.2 season average is fifth best among MLB teams at the break behind the Detroit Tigers (8.6), Cincinnati Reds (8.4), St. Louis Cardinals (8.3) and Boston Red Sox (7.4). During the first half, the Rangers logged eight of their all-time Top 10 ratings on FOX Sports Southwest, led by a record 10.7 on April 9 for Yu Darvish’s major league debut against the Seattle Mariners and followed by a 10.0 on April 24 and a 9.7 on April 25 vs. the New York Yankees. The Rangers also have been the No. 1-rated program of the day in Dallas-Fort Worth 17 times this season, including 10 of their last 14 games on FOX Sports Southwest.

From a press release I just got from FSSW.