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07/31/08 7:30 PM ET
No match for Texas as Deadline passes
Daniels aimed for 'pen help, but asking price too high
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- At one point Thursday afternoon, Rangers manager Ron Washington called reliever Eddie Guardado out of the steam room and told him general manager Jon Daniels wanted to see him upstairs.
Guardado thought he was getting traded. Instead, he was the subject of a practical joke on an afternoon in which the Rangers had nothing else going on. The Trade Deadline passed on Thursday without the Rangers making a move.
"We exchanged proposals in a couple of instances, but nothing to the point where I was calling [owner Tom Hicks] for the final sign-off," Daniels said.
Most of the conversations were about the Rangers' desire for pitching and other teams' interest in their catching. But nothing ever materialized.
Gerald Laird was back in the Rangers' lineup on Thursday night, Jarrod Saltalamacchia was on the bench, Taylor Teagarden is with the United States Olympic team and Max Ramirez is still at Triple-A Oklahoma.
The Rangers kept their catching depth intact as the Trade Deadline passed on Thursday afternoon. The Rangers were looking for young starting pitching in return and never received a sufficient offer for any of their backstops. That's basically what happened to the Rangers at this year's Trade Deadline.
"That's fair to say," Daniels said.
Daniels, when not pulling pranks, had on-going discussions all day, and the Marlins appeared to have the most interest in Laird. But the only significant transaction Daniels made was buying a Potbelly sandwich and a bowl of chili for lunch.
"Obviously, our catching is highly regarded and was sought after, but no deal made sense to us," Daniels said. "We'd have liked to have done something if it made sense now and in the future, but nothing was palatable. We were offered pitching prospects, but it wasn't fair value for what we were looking for."
"There was clearly a premium placed on young players, controllable players and on Draft picks," Daniels said. "Teams are comfortable holding on to [potential free agents] who might yield an extra pick in the Draft."
The Rangers' No. 1 priority was young starting pitching, but they were also looking for veteran relievers to reinforce their bullpen for the stretch run. That was on manager Ron Washington's wish list. But the Rangers couldn't find what they were looking for -- especially a left-hander -- and didn't like what was being offered.
Texas is hoping to get Joaquin Benoit off the disabled list in the next week or so and have him provide a boost to the bullpen. He pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two, in a medical rehabilitation assignment for Double-A Frisco on Wednesday.
"Guys who could have helped us were at a price that was too much for us," Daniels said. "Guys who were available were not better than the guys we have in the clubhouse. I like our guys, I like the guys we have coming off the disabled list and I like our internal options."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.