KANSAS CITY -- No, the Rangers are not going to get involved in any trade talks concerning Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt. Club officials have made that clear, especially after Monday's press conference. Oswalt suggested last week the Astros would be better off trading him and there has been much speculation where he might end up. But the Rangers remain extremely limited in their financial flexibility. They are not going to be able to take on much in the way of salary until the sale of the club to Chuck Greenberg's group is completed. That might take place before the July 31 trade deadline but until that happens, there is no way the Rangers will be able to take on Oswalt's $15 million salary.
It's also unlikely that the Rangers could take on a fraction of that even if the Astros pick up some salary as part of a trade. General manager Jon Daniels, while refusing to discuss any specific trades, did say, "We've got a 2010 budget, the same one we've been working off of since the end of last season relating to our offseason acquisitions and plans for this year. Nothing has changed." Daniels also added that at this point, acquiring a starting pitcher is not a high priority. The Rangers would still like to see improvement from Rich Harden and Scott Feldman, but right now seem relatively satisfied with their current rotation. The Rangers also have Derek Holland, C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis as starters, with Matt Harrison and Tommy Hunter in the Minors ready if needed. Harrison is on the disabled list because of biceps inflammation in his left arm and threw a scoreless inning on Monday for Double-A Frisco in his first medical rehabilitation assignment appearance. He is scheduled to pitch again on Wednesday and then could be activated as a reliever later on this road trip. Hunter, who started the season on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle in his left rib cage, is 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA in four starts at Oklahoma City. He is pitching against Tacoma on Tuesday night. Rangers starters have struggled of late but are still 14-10 with a 4.24 ERA on the season, fifth best in the American League. Asked if the Rangers are looking for starting pitching, Daniels said, "Not right now. That could always change; you've got to be open-minded about adding an impact pitcher. But we have a lot of faith in the guys we have out there, not to mention Hunter and Harrison. I wouldn't rule it out, but it's not an immediate need."