Time for one of those "a little bit from here and there"-type pieces wherein I promise to serve up more later in the morning and may or may not end up delivering on that promise, perhaps because I threw all good judgment to the wind and didn't sleep all night and may pass out at any moment:
● 4:00 p.m. CST: Texas has claimed first baseman Ryan Garko off irrevocable outright waivers from the Seattle Mariners (Richard Durrett, ESPN.com)
● 8:00 a.m. CST: A baseball source said Wednesday that talks regarding a potentially revived Mike Lowell-to-Texas trade had "accelerated," but by late Wednesday evening, the same source stated that the two sides were no closer to consummating a deal (Gordon Edes, ESPNBoston.com)
[Not only a same-day rumor bust, but a same-day rumor bust by the source of the rumor himself. That's a new one. Momentarily ignoring the money issues and looking at this from a pure talent/roster standpoint, the outstanding problem is that Lowell is no longer the potential 400- to 500-plate appearance player that the Rangers believed they were acquiring back in December; cut those old playing time projections in half and you're probably on the right track, in which case you're acquiring a 200- to 300-plate appearance guy who wasn't happy about being marginalized in Boston and would immediately find himself marginalized by his new employer.
Max Ramirez -- assuming that we're still talking about a Ramirez-for-Lowell swap, which hasn't been clarified -- isn't nearly as illustrious in the prospect sense these days (being 25 years old and not having established that you can actually hit above Double-A ball tends to do that to your stock), but one would still rather hesitant to pull the trigger on that exact same trade again. Well, at least I would.]
● 7:30 a.m. CST: Phil Rogers tabs the Rangers as his pick to win the AL West with 88 wins (yawn), but also chooses Clint Hurdle as his favorite for the intradivision manager of the year (Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune)
[I wouldn't ordinarily call attention to this sort of reckless supposition, except that it recalls to mind the reader-submitted question published here one Sunday morning last November in which this Hurdle-the-manager idea acquired some traction; it's probably still a bit far-fetched, but it's something to think about, and if we're not writing things that make you think, then we're failing. In any event, Rogers' controversial pick requires three things if it is to come to fruition: (a) a 2008-esque April meltdown, (b) front-office support for Hurdle as Washington's successor, obviously, and (c) a prodigious mid-season turnaround culminating in no fewer than 85 wins. I think I could do without all of that, to tell you the truth.]
● 7:15 a.m. CST: With this weekend's roster-finalizing deadline fast approaching, the Rangers will apparently carry both Andres Blanco (Opening Day second baseman) and Joaquin Arias (utility infielder) so long as Ian Kinsler resides on the 15-day disabled list with his high ankle sprain (retroactive to March 26th); Texas will also split time between Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden behind the plate, and will award the final spot in the bullpen to Doug Mathis, who beat out Guillermo Moscoso and Willie Eyre (Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)