SOMEWHERE BETWEEN COOPERSTOWN AND ALBANY, N.Y. – With just hours to go before the trade deadline passes at 3 p.m. Central time, here’s where the Rangers stand on some major issues:
UPDATE, 10:10 a.m. CT: I’ve made it to Albany. Oh, you aren’t concerned about my well-being? OK, here’s what I’ve heard on the way over: The Rangers are reluctantly willing to talk about plucky lefty reliever Alex Claudio as either part of a Darvish package to enhance the return or in a separate deal. As long as GMs focus on results and not the radar gun, Claudio should be really attractive. He’s not yet arbitration eligible and has four years of control remaining.
Both Houston and the Los Angeles Dodgers want Baltimore lefty Zach Britton for a late-inning role, but perhaps a Darvish-Claudio package might solve two issues at once. Then again, the Dodgers would likely have to be willing to give up either center fielder Alex Verdugo or pitcher Ferris, er, Walker Buehler at the top of their offer. So far, it doesn’t appear the Dodgers have budged.
I still think much of this comes down to Sonny Gray and where he lands. My sources tell me New York prefers Gray. At some point, though, somebody has to move toward a resolution.
From earlier today:
Posture: The willingness to send Jonathan Lucroy to Colorado for a player to be named later Sunday night should convey a stronger message to teams that the Rangers are open for business. Quite frankly, I thought the Rangers wouldn’t start selling off other pieces until a Yu Darvish deal was consummated. And by other pieces, I mean: Name a guy whose contract expires at the end of the season and he’s available. Andrew Cashner, Mike Napoli, Tyson Ross (if anybody is interested), Carlos Gomez. All available.
That said, I think if there was one guy the Rangers could be comfortable dealing without necessarily feeling they were going to impact the club’s miniscule chances at a playoff spot, it was Lucroy. They are content with Robinson Chirinos as the…