The most prominent pitcher the Rangers have pursued as the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline nears is White Sox ace Chris Sale, who’s currently embroiled in a strange controversy, but the sides haven’t made much progress, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. With that in mind, Texas’ focus is on the Rays’ starters at the moment, writes Grant. Tampa Bay’s asking price is high for Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi, though, as it wants powerful corner infielder/outfielder Joey Gallo – Baseball America’s 11th-ranked prospect. The Rangers would only give up Gallo for the Rays’ top starter, Chris Archer, per Grant.
More rumors from the American League:
- While reports have connected the Rangers to Milwaukee catcher and trade candidate Jonathan Lucroy for months, Texas is “not really” in pursuit of the All-Star backstop as of now, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com (Twitter link). The Rangers’ focus is instead on upgrading their pitching.
- The Twins aren’t inclined to deal right-hander Ervin Santana unless they’re “wowed” by an offer, tweets Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. Despite Santana’s age (33) and their distance from contention, the last-place Twins regard him as a quality future piece. Santana, who’s on a $13.5MM yearly salary through 2018 and has a $14MM club option for 2019, has pitched respectably this season (105 1/ innings, 3.93 ERA, 6.41 K/9, 2.48 BB/9).
- The Tigers, who are 51-46 and just 2.5 games out of a Wild Card spot, are likely to stand pat at the deadline, general manager Al Avila told reporters – including Evan Woodbery of MLive.com (via Twitter) – on Saturday. “It’s not sexy,” admitted Avila, who added that buying is difficult because teams are asking for the Tigers’ best young starters, standout rookie righty Michael Fulmer and southpaw Daniel Norris. “I have been in contact with several GMs in sell mode. The asking price is too high right now, even for fifth starters,” Avila stated (Twitter links via Jason Beck of MLB.com). Avila’s Tigers do have in-house reinforcements on the way in Norris, righty Jordan Zimmermann and right fielder J.D. Martinez, all of whom are on the disabled list. When those three come back, Avila expects Detroit to have enough talent to compete for a World Series (Twitter link via Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press).
- The playoffs continue to look highly unlikely for the Angels, who have won 10 of 12 games and closed the gap in the AL West from 19 1/2 games to a still-high 11 1/2 behind first-place Texas, but their recent hot streak could prevent them from selling, writes Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. “A lot of things have come together at the exact same time,” GM Billy Eppler told DiGiovanna. “We felt that this club had a lot of positive elements to it. It wasn’t all clicking like it is right now, but the character and the fight within those guys has never faded.” The Halos don’t have the assets to turn into buyers, notes DiGiovanna, so their decision will come down to selling or keeping the roster as it is. If they sell, DiGiovanna lists third baseman Yunel Escobar, setup man Joe Smith and closer Huston Street as Angels who could soon change homes.