FRISCO -- On Nov. 12, 1886, the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Browns completed the first fully documented swap of players in baseball history. The Browns sent five-year veteran Hugh Nicol to the Reds for Jack Boyle, a catcher who had played in a single pro game.Truly, the oldest trade in baseball history is an established Major Leaguer for prospects. That doesn't make Rangers prospects rest easier at Trade Deadline time, especially with their organization being rumored as one of the most active teams, especially in searching for bullpen help. "I don't pay attention to any of it," Double-A Frisco reliever Tanner Scheppers said Wednesday. "That's about as deep as it gets. I don't even know what talks are going on. I just go out there and play ball." Scheppers is one of several excellent young pitchers in the Rangers' system who could be coveted by other teams. Double-A teammates Joe Wieland and Robbie Erlin are also highly regarded and heavily scouted. "We all know what's going on," Wieland said. "It kind of showed last night -- the fact that basically the entire front office was at our game, even Nolan Ryan. We've seen stuff on the Internet, but we're not trying to let that affect us. That's one thing you can't do -- you can't get caught up in that and lose focus of what's going on on the field." Often, the families of players spend more time worrying about the players' next stop than the players themselves do. "They know, and they hear about all the rumors and stuff," said Erlin, who pitched in front of Ryan and others on Tuesday. "They just told me to make sure I called them if I hear anything." Whereas Major Leaguers dealt at the Trade Deadline only have to worry about helping their new MLB organization win, prospects have to deal with the dual worries of fitting in with whatever Minor League team they're sent to, along with improving to become good enough for the Majors. "Whatever happens, whatever you go through, you just have to do your work," Frisco outfielder Engel Beltre said. Beltre was one of three players acquired by the Rangers from the Red Sox on July 31, 2007. "Sometimes that's a good moment, when you're traded to another team, where you have more doors open," Beltre said. "That would be a good time for us, so we can go and move forward." The Trade Deadline is 3 p.m. CT on Sunday. "We're probably all looking forward to it [passing]," Wieland said. "I haven't really seen my name too much, so it's not like I'm worried, but at the same time, we all want to know what's going to happen. Once the Trade Deadline is up, we'll all be a little bit more comfortable."
Chavez starts in center against left-hander
ARLINGTON -- Craig Gentry is still feeling some neck soreness from a hard slide into second base on Sunday night. So Rangers manager Ron Washington decided to start Endy Chavez in center field against Twins left-hander Brian Duensing.Normally Gentry starts against left-handed pitchers in the Rangers' center-field platoon arrangement. "He's still feeling the effects, so I don't want to take any chances," Washington said. "I'm not going to rush it, so I'll give him an extra day." Chavez, a left-handed hitter, is 10-for-21 (.476) against left-handed pitchers this season. He is hitting .289 against them in his career as opposed to .270 against right-handed pitchers. "I feel I can go up against anybody," Chavez said. "I don't care. I'll fight with any of them."
Blanco set to go on rehab assignment
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are planning to send shortstop Andres Blanco on a medical rehabilitation assignment to Triple-A Round Rock with the hope that he can be activated on Tuesday in Detroit.Blanco has been on the disabled list since July 7 with a stress fracture in his lower back. Omar Quintanilla was called up from Round Rock to replace him as the Rangers' backup shortstop, but has yet to start since he has been here. Manager Ron Washington said he would like to get him a start in place of Elvis Andrus in the next few days. "It's time for Elvis to get a break," Washington said.
Rangers pay tribute to Blyleven with ceremony
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers honored pitcher Bert Blyleven in pregame ceremonies before Wednesday's game against the Twins. Blyleven, who pitched for the Rangers in 1976-77 and was 23-23 with a 2.74 ERA, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.His six shutouts in 1976 remain tied with Ferguson Jenkins (1974) for the single-season club record. He had 11 shutouts in all with the Rangers despite playing just two seasons with them, which is tied for the third most in club history. He had a 2.72 ERA in 1977 and a 2.76 ERA in 1976, the second and third lowest in club history for one season with at least 200 innings pitched. He is the fifth player to play for the Rangers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The others were all pitchers -- Nolan Ryan, Rich Gossage, Gaylord Perry and Jenkins. Their first manager, Ted Williams, and his coach, Nelson Fox, are also in the Hall of Fame.
Rusty Greer, a member of the Rangers' Hall of Fame, will be signing autographs prior to Thursday's game with the Minnesota Twins at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Greer will be signing autographs from 6:30-7:30 p.m. CT at the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation kiosk, which is located on the main concourse behind home plate.
Elvis Andrus stole his 30th base on Tuesday night. He is one of three active Major Leaguers who have stolen at least 30 bases over their first three seasons. The others are Ichiro Suzuki, Alfonso Soriano and Hanley Ramirez. Nelson Cruz has 25 RBIs in July, a career high for him in any single month. He went into Wednesday's game with 68 RBIs, ninth best in the American League. His career high is 78. His ratio of one RBI for every 4.79 plate appearances is the third best in the AL. Sunday's game against the Blue Jays has been pushed back from 12:07 p.m. to 12:30 CT due to pregame ceremonies in Toronto to honor Roberto Alomar.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Louie Horvath is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.