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07/02/07 7:00 PM ET

Mailbag: Talking Teixeira trades

Rangers beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers fans' questions

Time for me to answer some questions and for you to offer your own opinions on Monday Morning Manager, now playing at Postcards from Elysian Fields.

What kind of starting pitching can the Rangers get for Mark Teixeira? Is it possible to get two starting pitchers for him?
-- David T., El Paso, Texas

Clubs are starting to realize that free agent pitching is both expensive and risky. Jason Schmidt and A.J. Burnett were two of the biggest names on the free agent market, now they are two of the biggest names on the disabled list.

What that means is that teams are increasingly reluctant to give up their best young pitching in these deadline deals. The Rangers would have a better chance of getting quality position players than they would pitchers.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, but club officials have made it clear that they will demand much in return for Teixeira, and nobody has yet to come close to offering that.

When Teixeira went down the team started to play better. Coincidence? I know we were playing the NL Central for most of those games, but is this further proof that trading Teixeira might be the best thing for the Rangers?
-- Zack W., Plano, Texas

If you want to win a division title, a pennant or a World Series, you better have a big bat in the middle of the lineup. That is, unless you have dominating starting pitching.

I would like to know your thoughts on trading Mark Teixeira for Dontrelle Willis. I figure it would make for a smart trade.
-- Adam R., Plano, Texas

People talk about a player's age, but I think that's less relevant than service time and length of contract. Those two factors are far more likely to determine how long a player will be around than how old he is.

Willis can be a free agent after the 2009 season. Teixeira can be a free agent after 2008. It would be a great trade for the Rangers, but probably not for the Marlins.

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What are the odds of the Rangers landing Mark Buehrle? I know he's got contract issues, but wouldn't a trade allow us to show him how it would be playing in Texas? Would Chicago consider Buehrle and Jermaine Dye for Edinson Volquez and Jason Botts?
-- Randy K., Kauffman, Texas

The White Sox are locked in with Jim Thome as their designated hitter. I don't think that deal works for them, and Buehrle probably has a pretty good idea about Texas. It's hot here.

What are the chances that we traded Teixeira to the Reds for Adam Dunn and Griffey? And would we give up any prospects in this trade?
-- Taylor W., Garland, Texas

Griffey has a no-trade clause in his contract and has shown little willingness to waive it. Not sure Texas would appeal to him, but I like the idea of him being the Rangers DH for a couple of years.

Why not trade Joaquin Benoit or another relief pitcher for a young centerfielder in Tony Gwynn Jr.?
-- Marc V., Fort Worth, Texas

That's not a bad deal. Gwynn is obviously a good young player, but the Brewers have a glut of outfielders and could use setup relief. Not sure they would do Benoit for Gwynn. They may want Akinori Otsuka instead. But I think that could be the basis for discussion between the two teams.

I've been watching the Pirates since Zach Duke, a Texan, came into the league. It seems that they have a solid young rotation. What are the odds of getting Duke or anybody out of that staff to come to Arlington?
-- Cody F., Valley Mills, Texas

The Pirates and the Rangers have had a number of trade discussions of the past several years. The Pirates have coveted Teixeira and Hank Blalock, but have never been willing to part with a guy like Duke. They have been dangling Ian Snell instead, and the Rangers refuse to bite.

How did Willie Randolph do in his first 70 games as the Mets manager? If I recall, he started out very slowly, as is Ron Washington. Last year, he won the National League East title and this year the Mets have one of the best records in baseball. I think it would be good to be patient with Washington, especially if the comparison to Randolph is as I think it will be.
-- Dick B., Fort Worth, Texas

Randolph's first year with the Mets was in 2005. They were 34-36 after 70 games and 39-39 at the end of June.

I'm just curious as to why general manager Jon Daniels would get a contract extension as the team gets worse and worse and no signs of improvement.
-- Jeremy R., Plano, Texas

Owner Tom Hicks believes that Daniels and his lieutenants are off to a good start in rebuilding the Rangers farm system and that the franchise badly needs stability. The timing of the extension was designed to prevent Daniels' job security from becoming a festering issue this summer.

You said you don't think the Rangers will trade Sammy Sosa. What are the chances they will try to extend his contract?
-- Justin L. Palestine, TX.

Daniels has indicated that it's something they will talk about. Sosa has been a terrific investment this season, but it will be interesting to see what his contract demands will be in 2008 if he finishes what he has started. He could finish with 30 home runs and 120 RBIs. The Rangers would also have to decide what to do with Jason Botts. He has nothing left to prove at Triple-A.

I've been a big fan of Rusty Greer since he's been a Texas Ranger. I do feel that the Rangers organization should retire his number. Do you think the club will bestow this honor? Better yet, do you think they should?
-- G.K., Dallas, Texas

I have always felt that the Rangers should have retired Jim Sundberg's number.

Do you think Francisco Cordero is cursed in Arlington?
-- Mike M., Waco, Texas

No, just booed.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.