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08/06/08 7:30 PM ET
Guardado takes over as closer
Rangers could explore trade in wake of Wilson's trip to DL
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have begun adjusting their bullpen after putting closer C.J. Wilson on the disabled list. Eddie Guardado is the Rangers' new closer and Frank Francisco will be the primary eighth-inning setup reliever. Josh Rupe and Jamey Wright will handle the sixth and seventh inning duties. Joaquin Benoit, who started the season as the Rangers' primary setup reliever, was activated off the disabled list but will be eased back into a prime-time role. He and Warner Madrigal will be in middle relief, and Dustin Nippert remains the long man. The Rangers are also investigating the possibility of acquiring a reliever by trade and one name that has popped up is left-hander Scott Eyre, who was designated for assignment by the Cubs on Tuesday. The Rangers have some interest. The Cardinals also could be looking to move right-hander Jason Isringhausen, who has lost his job as their closer. "We're open to all possibilities," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said before Wednesday's game with the Yankees. "I don't know if there's going to be a lot available that would represent a significant upgrade this time of year, but we're always looking." Wilson was placed on the disabled list with bone spurs in his left elbow and will be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles. Surgery is a possibility, and that would put Wilson out for the season. "We'd love to have C.J. in there, but we have to deal with it," pitching coach Andy Hawkins said. "The addition of Joaquin is a big factor. I still love our bullpen. We have quality people out there. We're going to have to tap into Frankie a little more and count on Josh Rupe and Jamey Wright a little more." Guardado moving into the closer's role leaves the Rangers without a left-handed setup reliever. That's a concern, but the Rangers won't add a left-hander unless it's an upgrade on one of their right-handers. "We're out there looking to see what we can do to fix that situation," Washington said.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.