A year ago, the Rangers pulled off the seemingly unthinkable, making a deal for a big-time pitcher within their own division.
Might they do it again?
According to a report by FOX Sports, Ken Rosenthal, teams have been calling Oakland about closer Andrew Bailey. According to two sources, the Rangers are among those teams and the A's have at least started looking more in-depth at the Rangers farm system. According to Rosenthal, the A's feeling is they'd have to be "overwhelmed" in order to move Bailey. In the parlance of the trade deadline market, that essentially means he's available.
Bailey is hardly the only reliever whom the Rangers have monitored. They had basic conversations with Florida regarding Leo Nunez as far back as two weeks ago, but according to sources, there has been little in the way of ongoing conversation. Texas is also monitoring Heath Bell, who is expected to be the most high profile reliever traded this month.
And Bailey might not be the only AL West reliever in whom the Rangers have interest. There have been reports that Seattle would consider moving closer Brandon League.
Beyond their success, what makes Bailey and League so attractive as potential trade targets is that the Rangers would control them beyond this year. Bailey will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, meaning that a team acquiring him could control him through at least 2014. League has one more year of arbitration before free agency.
That's also what makes the potential price exorbitant. Unless the A's and Mariners are motivated to do long-range tear-downs of their club, trading controllable guys with fairly reasonable salaries might not make the most sense in the world.
Sources: A's reliever Andrew Bailey among Rangers potential targets
Dallas Morning News | Jul 17