Since Sade and John Legend were performing at the AAC last night, how about a nice Neptunes remix of a Sade classic? *
● Here are some of the most pertinent bits from Sullivan's latest trade deadline missive:
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels made it clear on Sunday that his No. 1 priority remains to upgrade the bullpen before next Sunday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"We have looked at a few different things, but the bullpen is still our priority," Daniels said. "We're having conversations, but I can't say for sure which way it will go ... 50-50 [a deal gets done], maybe less than that."
Daniels declined to discuss specific trade targets, but it is also known that the Rangers have shown interest in center fielder Carlos Beltran. The Mets also have scouts looking at the Rangers' farm system. Sources said the Rangers like the player and wouldn't mind an outfield that includes Beltran, Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz.
Starting pitching appears to be even less of a priority, even though the Rangers have scouted Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda and have been rumored to be interested in Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez.
"We like our starting five," Daniels said. "We like our seven guys, including Hunter and Feldman. I thought Feldman threw the ball well the other day. We've connected on a few guys that might be available, but for us to do something, it would have to be a significant upgrade. If it's not, it doesn't make much sense. We like what we have."
● According to Jeff Wilson, the Rangers' ownership has shown a "willingness" to add to the budget if the right deal presents itself, but no deal is close. Of particular note is that Leonys Martin is drawing interest, but he, Martin Perez, and Jurickson Profar are pretty much "untouchable."
● Troy E. Renck said yesterday that the Rockies were serious in fielding offers on Ubaldo Jimenez, but ... "Texas' brass wants another crack at the ring, and bristles at the idea of Boston or New York swooping in on Jimenez. The Rangers scouted his most recent start. Still, the Rangers aren't yet prepared to make the type of offer the Rockies seek, viewing Jimenez as a No. 2 starter in trade, not a bona fide ace."
● Sullivan's notebook includes stuff on Chris Davis trying to make the most of this latest opportunity, Andres Blanco's slow progress in his attempts to recover from a stress reaction in his back, and Eric Hurley's recent success at Round Rock.
● Matthew Reagan talks about Derek Holland trying to find some consistency. So does Evan Grant. Jon Heyman thinks that Texas could move Arthur Rhodes in what is shaping up as a very weak market for lefty relievers. Jim Bowden says that the Rangers have better prospects as trade ammo than any other contender, and says that Heath Bell is the Rangers' No. 1 trade target.
[* I actually prefer this remix over the one done by the Neptunes.]