Rangers focused on starter, not bullpen

The Rangers, who are staying on the fringe of the Roy Halladay sweepstakes, are focused on trying to acquire an experienced starting pitcher before the Trade deadline.

There has been talk that the Rangers are looking for relief help and Orioles left-hander George Sherrill has been mentioned. But the Rangers bullpen has been outstanding of late, even with Frank Francisco on the disabled list with walking pneumonia. The Rangers expect Francisco back at some point later next week.

Sherrill may be considered an upgrade over Eddie Guardado. But Guardado went into Saturday’s game against the Royals having not allowed a run in his last 11 appearances.

Yes, the Rangers could use Sherrill but club officials acknowledge the minimal upgrade he represents is not worth the price they would have to give up to get him. That’s why, sources said, the Orioles do not view the Rangers as serious trading partners.

If the Rangers can add a starting pitcher, they could move rookie left-hander Derek Holland back to the bullpen and upgrade both areas.

“We could use another experienced starter,” manager Ron Washington said.

Rangers players are still hoping the club will get involved with Halladay. That seems like a long-short but the Rangers are still talking with the Blue Jays and still not completely out of the running. The Rangers have the young prospects – especially pitching – but adding payroll and getting Halladay to accept a trade is another matter.

— T.R. Sullivan

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