Which is bigger for the Rangers this weekend, the home series with the White Sox or the imminent trade deadline?
If you’re actually playing for the Rangers, the answer is, you worry about the White Sox and as for the trade deadline, que sera sera. It’s especially true this weekend, seeing as the Sox swept three from Texas at Chicago just a couple of weeks ago. This weekend represents not only payback time, but also the opportunity to send a message to a playoff contender that the road to the World Series still goes through Arlington.
Tonight’s pitching match-up is one I’d love to see: Yu Darvish vs. Chris Sale, both starters with 11 wins on the season. Sadly, viewing is not an option, as the Friday night games are only broadcast live in the Dallas Metroplex, from which I’m far removed. So I imagine I’ll be constantly checking my MLB app whilst the wife and I watch the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics. Still, the Darvish-Sale match-up is sure to set the tone for the entire weekend of Rangers baseball. Matt Harrison and Roy Oswalt will get the other two starts in the series.
Meanwhile, the trade deadline has gone into double-digit hours away now, with Texas being linked to: Zack Greinke, Josh Johnson, James Shields, Justin Upton, Shin Soo Choo, Cliff Lee and probably the ghost of Babe Ruth as well. Just a few days ago, I opined the Rangers would not be looking for a starting pitcher this year and upgrading the offense would be the priority. A day later, Colby Lewis was lost for the season, throwing everything in disarray. That makes every quality starting pitcher a target for Texas, with Greinke being the crown jewel in the wish column.
Last year the Rangers were relatively quiet at the deadline, with only two relief pitchers being acquired in Mike Adams and Koji Uehara. Two years ago, Texas managed to get Bengie Molina and Cliff Lee before the deadline and still added Jorge Cantu, Cristian Guzman and Jeff Francoeur in waiver deals after the deadline. There’s not a pundit around who doesn’t think the Rangers are going to make a big deal before the Tuesday deadline. I think they will too, but I also know Jon Daniels could scotch a deal if he feels the asking price is too high.
In the meantime, it’s three with the White Sox this weekend and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the priority.