Daniels: No hitter on the way at deadline
July, 31, 2013
By Todd Wills | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers didn't add that right-handed bat -- or any bat -- that they coveted at the trade deadline, signaling that the club will try to make the playoffs again in a very different manner.
They will lean heavily on a strong starting rotation and a deep bullpen the final two months of the season and hope an offense that came alive in Tuesday night's 14-11 extra-inning victory over the Los Angeles Angels finishes strong.
"We're going to have to get to the point where the mentality is can we get to four runs?" Daniels said. "Can we score four-plus runs every night? What are we, 47-9 when we score four runs? That has to be the mentality of our club."
Daniels said the lack of a market for free-agent-to-be offensive hitters had the biggest impact on the Rangers not making a deal. The most experienced bat to move in the final 24 hours before the deadline was Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who was dealt to division rival Oakland.
The Rangers did exchange names in a few discussions, but that was it. There was just wasn't a deal that appealed to them, Daniels said.
"You saw the names that were moved," Daniels said. "The offensive players that were moved, maybe I'm missing something, I don't know that there was one. That was kind of indicative of the market for a variety of reasons that have all been thrown out there. The extra wild card, the general landscape of the game right now, the revenues in the game have increased when people are signing players long term.
"The same caliber of guys aren't reaching free agency and those rental players that are free agents-to-be are typically the guys that get moved in July, and when you have what is perceived as a weaker free agent crop coming up you're going to have a weaker rental crop here in July."
Daniels said the club will look at things in August during the waiver period. Maybe a right-handed bat like Minnesota's Josh Willingham or Seattle's Michael Morse, a couple of the names that were on the Rangers radar before the deadline, will be options.
Daniels did acknowledge that the post-All Star break stretch in which the Rangers lost eight of 10 games and lost four games in the standings to first-place Oakland might have played a small role in a deal not getting done.
"The change in the standings was real," Daniels said. "Over a week's stretch or eight-day stretch we lost ground to two teams in the wild-card race and Oakland. And that's real, that's tangible, but we still feel the same way that we do about our club and view the competition very similarly, as well."