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The Rangers have asked about Cliff Lee and, oh yeah, Roy Oswalt

Jun 18, 2010, 10:02 AM EST

Well, whaddaya know? The Rangers have been inquiring about big name pitchers after all.

MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers are inquiring about big name pitchers such as Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt. Poor Sullivan. Now Buster Olney and everyone is going to tell him how full of it he is.  Sad.

There is nothing imminent on any front and the club has not confirmed
its interest in Lee, or any other player. The Rangers still have
financial issues that must be considered in any trade discussions.

But the Rangers are actively making it known they are looking for
pitching and they haven’t been afraid of asking about some of the big
names available including Lee and Astros ace Roy Oswalt. Both pitchers
could be available at some point this summer but have not been actively
shopped to this point . . . Assistant general manager Thad Levine, who is with the team in Florida,
declined to discuss specific names but did acknowledge the Rangers’
pursuit of pitching.

We can quibble about what one means by the word “preliminary,” but all of this is consistent with my report earlier this week about the Rangers talking to Houston about Roy Oswalt.  Given the financial approvals that are required, even agreeing in principle to the players who would change teams — as my sources say the Rangers and Astros did — would qualify as “preliminary” in my book.

As Sullivan notes, however, once the Rangers’ bankruptcy is in the past — which could happen very soon, as the court is scheduled to rule on it all on Tuesday — the financial constraints will be lifted, the Rangers will be able to add some money to offers that already include some of the prospects from their top-shelf system and they will likely be able to land anyone they want.

Cliff Lee would make the most sense because he’s relative cheap and happens to be the best pitcher available. Oswalt would make some sense too because he won’t require as many prospects and Texas fans like him a hell of a lot.  Either way, the Rangers are likely to do some damage before July 31st.

  1. ben s - Jun 18, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    You must be happy Craig, huh? You got your story verified. Anyway, the Rangers do have the top farm system in the majors and even giving up two of their top prospects won’t even be a big blow to their farm system. This does seem like a good match. Thanks for the report, keep the trade rumors coming!

  2. RoyceThe BaseballHack - Jun 18, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    If you asked me, and nobody has, and if it were my money, and it isn’t, I would absolutely go with Cliff Lee, here, over Oswalt, if its a horse race between the two of them.
    I like Oswalt just fine, but Cliff has been throwing in the AL for years, with better than marginal success with marginal teams behind him. In my opinion, I think he’s a better pitcher, overall. Of course, there’s always the chance that Oswalt comes in, digs not having to bat or anything, and it beefs up his ability to throw better, he might be able to overcome that element that seems to sting a lot of great pitchers who come over to the AL from the NL. If the planets line up correctly, and The Rangers could get Lee in Arlington on or by July 1, I think 10 wins from him through the end of the year is reasonable. This, of course, assumes no major injuries to the existing line-up, and a few other Sunny Day factors falling into place.
    If Oswalt finds himself here, it’d be pretty cool, and I’d love to see it. Given my druthers, I’d rather have Cliff though.

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