ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers are coming out of the All-Star break chasing for the first time in four seasons.
While the Rangers expect a boost from the return of several injured players in the next week, general manager Jon Daniels said Thursday that he would like to upgrade the team. Asked if that meant trying to add a starting pitcher or right-handed bat before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, Daniels said those were possibilities though he didn’t discuss specifics.
“Our goal is a lot bigger than just being in a good position,” said Daniels, adding that the Rangers are initiating most of the calls being made. “You could really go both ways, and we’re having active conversations on both fronts. I don’t know sitting here right now exactly where it’s going to head.”
Among the potential targets for the Rangers (54-41), who trail Oakland by two games in the AL West, could be Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza and White Sox outfielder Alex Rios, among others.
Utility player Jeff Baker, who has been outstanding against left-handers, and speedy outfielder Craig Gentry are both expected to be activated from the disabled list before Friday night’s game against Baltimore. Yu Darvish threw a bullpen session Thursday and will like start against the New York Yankees on Monday night. Alexi Ogando could return the next night.
“We’re going to activate two right-handed hitters (Friday) and then hopefully activate two starting pitchers next week,” Daniels said. “So that will go a long way toward bringing us back to where we want to be.”
There are 67 games left in the regular season. Not in first place out of the break for the first time since 2009, when they last missed the playoffs before consecutive World Series appearances, here are some things to watch for the Rangers: