KANSAS CITY -- General manager Jon Daniels made it clear what the Rangers' approach is toward the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. At least right now.
"Our mindset is we expect to be in it, and we'll act accordingly," Daniels said.
Daniels conceded the Rangers' plans might change if they suddenly fall out of American League Wild Card contention.
"If things go the other way, we'll look at other options," Daniels said.
The next two weeks will likely push the Rangers one way or another, beginning with their current 10-game road trip to Kansas City, Baltimore and Tampa Bay. The Rays and Yankees began Friday tied for the two AL Wild Card sports, with the Royals and O's among seven teams within five games of the berths. The Rangers were three games out.
"It's a congested field," Daniels said. "When we look at our team lined up on paper against the competition, we like our chances. But we have to play well in the next two weeks. I don't want to put too much pressure on, but things can change when you are playing against the Wild Card competition."
The Rangers (43-45) were two games under .500 going into the second half. The 1995 Yankees are the only team to have a losing record at the All-Star break and come back to win the Wild Card.
"I don't want to put too much pressure on a two-week period in a six-month season, but that's all we have left before the Deadline," Daniels said. "That's the readable information."
Right now, the Rangers don't have a glaring need. Their rotation is set with Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner, and their lineup has been as healthy as it has been all season.
The bullpen is the biggest need, and the Rangers are looking at possible options. But they aren't likely to make a big trade for a front-line closer. The Rangers have always been reluctant to overpay either through free agency or trade for a closer.
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"There is always a distinct possibility we'll let this group play," Daniels said. "There is no mandate to go one way or another. We don't necessarily have to do anything, but we are going to explore everything. But if this is our best club and going with it is our best option, we're comfortable with that."
Daniels said the Rangers are looking for players who can help beyond 2017, rather than acquiring a rental for the rest of this season.
"Most of the July deals we have done, we have tried to trade for guys beyond [the current] year," Daniels said. "That always plays a role."
As far as a major fire sale of potential free agents including Darvish and others? "It would take something dramatic to cause that," Daniels said. "It would take a team knocking our door down on a player to consider that."