Ken Rosenthal has a piece up this morning that talks about the Rangers being one of baseball's budding superpowers, and about how the team has the money and the pieces to get almost any deal done that it wants to get done, with these choice highlights:
The team gives every indication that it will be quite active again before Sunday's non-waiver deadline, showing varying levels of interest in several big names: Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, Padres closer Heath Bell, Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.
Only this time, the Rangers will not require financial assistance.
Under new ownership, the Texas franchise is starting to resemble the Red Sox, Yankees and Phillies, and not just in its spending power. The Rangers have the money and the prospects to pursue just about any player they want. Yet, the extent to which they will follow through before Sunday's non-waiver deadline is unclear.
The buzz late Monday night was that they were making a strong push for Beltran — buzz that actually started Sunday, but was downplayed by team officials.
If the Rangers got Beltran, their offense would be powerful enough to mask any pitching issues that fester, at least for the rest of the regular season. The post-season, of course, is different, a time when pitching becomes even more paramount. And the Rangers know that their biggest need, by far, is another late-inning reliever to pair with closer Neftali Feliz.
Thus, the team is pursuing every prominent reliever who is available, and even some who aren't — everyone from Bell to the Nationals' Tyler Clippard, the Athletics' Andrew Bailey to the Marlins' Leo Nunez. No matter what happens with Beltran, and no matter how much club officials might be reluctant to overpay for a reliever, it would be a shock if the Rangers did not address their bullpen.
Kuroda, like Jimenez, would be switching to the AL, the better offensive league. Still, the Rangers could use the stability that Kuroda or someone like him could offer (Kuroda, like Beltran, could invoke his no-trade clause to block any deal). Ogando and Harrison already are in unchartered territory with their innings totals; few would be surprised if they started to fade.
This is one of those articles that intertwines rumor and opinion, and, ultimately, I'm not sure there's much here that's especially revelatory, but it's a fun little read, the kind that people like to read about their team, and, if nothing else, the line on Beltran actually is interesting, as it helps to explain why the national media's rumor hounds are all over this Beltran-to-Texas thing, while the local beat writers -- who get their information direct from the organization, in most cases -- seem to all be saying that the outfield is way down the Rangers' priority list, and that there really isn't all that much to the Beltran rumors.
Wow, that's a long sentence.