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Ryan talks Ramirez, Garza

Nolan Ryan, on his KESN 103.3 radio show, suggested that Manny Ramirez could be an option for the Rangers after the All-Star break. Ramirez was 6-for-14 with two home runs in his last three games for Triple A Round Rock and is now off for the All-Star break.

Ryan said when the Rangers start looking around for a right-handed bat, “You have to take him into consideration.”

Ryan also said he didn’t see anything that makes him think Ramirez can’t still hit.

On Matt Garza, the Cubs pitcher who could be traded, Ryan said, “If Chicago actually made him available, you’d have to have a certain amount of interest.”

The Rangers open the second half on Friday against the Orioles.

Rangers weighing options

The Rangers are weighing two options as the Trade Deadline approaches: starting pitching and a right-handed bat.

The Rangers could use another starting pitcher but aren’t particularly enamored with Florida’s Ricky Nolasco. The interest is described as mild at best. The Rangers are still expecting to get Alexi Ogando off the disabled list after the Al-Star break and he will return to the rotation. The Rangers are also encouraged by the progress being made by Colby Lewis and he could be an option by July 31.

Cliff Lee? The Rangers have been told the Phillies expect any team that wants him to take on his full contract and give up significant prospects in return.

The right-handed bat has been a subject of discussion since the beginning of the season but again the Rangers are hoping Jeff Baker will be back after the All-Star break.

The Rangers biggest concern with their offense is Lance Berkman. His right knee is still an issue and he has not produced offensively the way the Rangers expected. He is the one player who will lose the most playing time to Jurickson Profar. Right now the Rangers are starting to surmise their best lineup includes Profar over Berkman.

The Rangers would be interested in Paul Konerko but are operating under the assumption he is not available. They could be interested in White Sox outfielder Alex Rios. Josh Willingham of the Twins could be another target.

Rangers interested in RA Dickey

The Rangers are interested in trading for Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey. The Mets, who are in a rebuilding mode, are trying to work out a contract extension with Dickey. He is signed for $5 million in 2013 but is a free agent after that. If the Mets can’t work out an extension then they would consider trading him. According to sources, the Rangers are definitely interested in talking more with the Mets at the Winter Meetings.

Dickey was the Rangers No. 1 draft pick in 1996 and pitched for them from 2001-06. It was while with the Rangers that Dickey started working on the knuckleball that sent his career soaring. He was 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA for the Mets this past season, winning the N.L. Cy Young Award.

The Mets have multiple needs but outfield is high on the list.

Washington: Rangers could use a good pitcher

Rangers manager Ron Washington was asked in his pre-game media session about the upcoming Trade Deadline and said, “We could use a good pitcher. If that happens to be a No. 1 pitcher that Jon Daniels gets, that’s fine. There is a need for a lot of things.”

Added Washington, “The No. 1 need on my list is we keep winning. Just keep winning, that’s what I need.”

Washington said Scott Feldman is still starting for the Rangers on Monday.

The Rangers have been actie in trade talks for Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke but there is no indication anything is imminent.

Rangers focused on starting pitching

The Rangers are still looking hard for starting pitching. Zack Greinke is at the top of their list. James Shields is another possibility. Josh Johnson’s name keeps coming up but the Rangers are lerry of him. The Rangers don’t want an innings-eater. They want somebody who can make a difference in the playoffs. They would really like Greinke.

 

Rangers will look to upgrade bench

The Rangers will look for bench help leading up to the Trade Deadline. The Rangers have been hit hard by injuries on the pitching staff but believe Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando, Neftali Feliz and Koji Uehara will be back before the Deadline. The Rangers are looking for either utility help or a bat off the bench.

Ryan, Ventura meet before game

Rangers club president Nolan Ryan went over to the White Sox clubhouse before Friday’s game to meet with manager Robin Ventura. Ryan just wished Ventura good luck and they chatted for a few minutes. This was the first time they have spoken since their famous 1993 brawl at Arlington Stadium. Ventura was making his Major League debut as the White Sox manager on Friday against the Rangers.

TR SULLIVAN

Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler on Opening Day

It does not appear as if Ian Kinsler will get a contract extension before first pitch on Opening Day. The Rangers have been talking to his agent Jay Franklin about a deal in recent days but it does not appear as if they will beat Kinsler’s self-imposed Opening Day deadline.
But Kinsler was still able to wax poetic about Opening Day: “The biggest thing is we want to put on a good show in front of a packed house. Win or lose, you want to put on a good show and play your best baseball. Opening Day is the best day of the year. The regular season is such a long season, to finally kick it off is exciting..,the planes, flags, people, you get the smells of the ballpark, cotton candy and hot dogs mixed together, it gets the juices flowing.”

Rangers in hunt for Buehrle

The Rangers say they are interested in re-signing C.J. Wilson. But they are have sincere interest in free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle and he is a target for them at the Winter Meetings. Despite having what appears to be a set rotation, the Rangers still like Buehrle for his experience, durability and potential leadership on a young rotation.

– T.R. Sullivan

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