Heading into the home stretch of the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes, and all reports sound like Jon Daniels has done a good job of whipping up interest amongst the biggest players in MLB – the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels and Braves.
Of note, the Ranger-killing Yankees deserve a lot of credit for fanning the flames of interest in Tex. Had they not turned things around in dramatic fashion in recent weeks, they probably wouldn’t still be interested in Teixeira, and neither would the Red Sox. But with another classic Red Sox – Yankees chase gearing up, both teams could use the boost Teixeira offers.
As of today, the leading candidate is reported to be the Red Sox, which is confounding. The Red Sox need outfield production. Their infield has been producing well, so I wonder how they’d shuffle up to fit Tex in.
Meanwhile, lefty starter Kason Gabbard would be a great pick up for the Rangers. The Rangers need a lefty-starter who’s major-league proven but young. Gabbard is 25 and has shown consistent improvement this year, posting a 3-0 mark (1 win vs. Texas) with a 1.93 era in 4 starts in July, including a complete game, 3-hit shut-out of KC. I like the way this guy looks. Jon Lester has also been mentioned, but my gut tells me the Red Sox will hang on to him (and his inspiring story).
A pairing of either promising prospect Clay Buchholz (AAA Pawtucket) or Michael Bowden (AA Portland) with Gabbard and throw-in 1B Jeff Bailey to man first until Nate Gold or Kevin West (both of whom have been getting plenty of at-bats in Oklahoma, which is another sign that the Rangers will be doing the smart thing and moving Tex now) are ready, and the Rangers would have a great deal while the Red Sox would have some extra might to stay ahead of the Yanks and likely be able to challenge the Tigers in the post-season this year and next (which is great as those are my 2nd and 3rd favorite teams).
The wrinkle here could be that the Red Sox are on a 5-game winning streak. The Yankees are still hot, but despite going 8-2 in their last 10, are still 8 games back. The thred on which this opportunity may dangle could be how the Red Sox do at Cleveland and Tampa in their next five games before a day off on Monday to contemplate their situation on the eve of the non-waiver trade deadline.