© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
07/31/07 9:14 PM ET
Notes: Sosa stays put at deadline
No deal for slugger likely paves Botts' path to DH role
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- The trade deadline has come and gone with Sammy Sosa still with the Rangers.
The Rangers tried to find him a new home and could not. Now, as the Rangers accelerate preparations for 2008, it's obvious that Jason Botts will be called up soon and take over as the designated hitter.
General manager Jon Daniels is planning to fly to Cleveland on Wednesday and meet with manager Ron Washington and his coaching staff. He is also expected to meet with Sosa and discuss his role with the team.
"No plans to announce, other than he's on Ron's lineup card," Daniels said before Tuesday's game with the Cleveland Indians. "I said after the [Kenny] Lofton deal that Jason would get an opportunity up here and I still stand by that. With everything else going on we haven't had an opportunity to put that in motion but we will."
Owner Tom Hicks said the Rangers will not release Sosa.
"I'm not going to do that to Sammy," Hicks said.
Sosa went into Tuesday's game hitting .245 with 16 home runs and 70 RBIs but he is also 38 years old and can be a free agent after the season. Botts is hitting .320 with 13 home runs and 78 RBIs in 101 games at Oklahoma.
"A year ago nobody wanted to sign me," Sosa said. "This team gave me a chance. These guys have treated me good. I have a good relationship and feel comfortable here. I'd be a little disappointed if I go somewhere else. We have two months left in the season. We'll see what happens."
Wilson wants to close:
C.J. Wilson is up front about it. He wants to be the Rangers' next closer now that Eric Gagne has been traded to the Boston Red Sox.
"Of course I want the job," Wilson said. "I have been saying that for a year now. This offseason I talked to [Daniels] about that possibility. I think I handle adrenaline and the pressure very well. It's the most challenging thing you can do as a pitcher to come in there with the game on the line. You really have to be good."
However, Washington is cool to the idea and said Joaquin Benoit and Frank Francisco will likely get most of the opportunities until Akinori Otsuka returns from the disabled list.
"It's fine with me," Benoit said. "Being in there with the game on the line, whether I get a win or whether I get the save, as long as I help the team, I don't care how I do it."
As for Wilson, Washington said, "He'll have to earn it."
The Rangers received a significant amount of interest in Benoit leading up to the trade deadline.
"We got calls on him, that's not something we weren't entertaining," Daniels said. "He is one of the more positive stories of the season, been in organization as long as anybody and he's going to be 30 years old and he's really coming into his own, got over that hump and taken that development step.
"He's had the best stuff on our staff for a few years now, and with the right coaching and Ron putting him in the right positions, I think he's starting to realize his potential."
Teixeira's legacy: Mark Teixeira leaves the Rangers with a .533 slugging percentage, the second highest in club history among players with 3,000 plate appearances. Juan Gonzalez leads with a .565 slugging percentage. Teixeira is eighth with a .283 batting average. He also ranks seventh with 153 home runs, tied for ninth with 499 RBIs and 10th with 426 runs scored in his 4 1/2 seasons with the Rangers.
He said it: "Give credit to the Red Sox, they're an extremely creative group, and our deal is the match-maker and we accepted their deal and gave them a window to discuss a contract with Eric. I think Eric looked at it as a win-win-win and a chance to compete on the biggest stage and perform." -- Daniels on trading Gagne to the Red Sox
Monday's Minor Stars:
Gold: Max Ramirez was 2-for-4 with a run scored in Class A Bakersfield's 6-4 loss to Modesto. He is 4-for-11 (.364) since being acquired by the Rangers from the Indians.
Silver: Clinton reliever Anton Maxwell pitched three scoreless innings, striking out three to preserve the LumberKings' 8-3 victory over Great Lakes.
Bronze: Catcher Guillermo Quiroz was 2-for-3 with a three-run home run in Triple-A Oklahoma's 6-5 loss to Tacoma.
Briefly: Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said he thought he had a shot at Gagne after talks with the Yankees and Mets broke down on Monday. But he admitted the Red Sox were front-runners because they already had several Scott Boras clients on the team. ... Second baseman Ian Kinsler was activated off the disabled list.
Up next: Left-hander John Rheinecker makes his third start of the season at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday CT against the Indians. Paul Byrd pitches for the Indians at Jacobs Field.