Teams around the league have been hesitant to pay exorbitant prices for two-month rental players, but if the Rangers decide to move Yu Darvish before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, that will surely change.
Controllable players such as Jose Quintana, Tommy Kahnle, Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson and David Phelps have all changed uniforms this season, bringing back good value for their former teams.
But just as Albertin Chapman did with the Cubs a year ago, Darvish represents a game-changing arm that could turn a contender into a potential champion, which will surely have general managers falling over each other to acquire the right-hander from the Rangers despite the fact that he's headed for free agency at the end of the season.
"I think they would do really well," one American League executive said of Texas. "He separates from other available options, even as an expiring guy."
Whether Texas can land the same type of haul that the Yankees received for Chapman last summer -- New York received blue-chip prospect Gleyber Torres and three other players -- remains to be seen.
"I don't think he's bringing back a Gleyber Torres-type like Chapman did," a second executive said. "It just depends if a team thinks he is the missing link that will take them to the promised land and won't be beat."
Oakland's Sonny Gray, who is under team control through the end of the 2019 season, is the premier controllable starter available at the moment, though most view Darvish as a better pitcher. Gray's price tag figures to be close to the four-player package the Cubs sent to the White Sox for Quintana.
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan reported Friday morning that the Rangers have started reaching out to teams to gather information about the type of package they could get for Darvish.
Texas entered Saturday four games out of a Wild Card spot after beating the Rays, who are currently situated in the top AL Wild Card spot, on Friday night.
Yonder Alonso was not in the Athletics' starting lineup for the second time in four days, left on the bench Friday night for the series opener against the Mets at Citi Field.
One source said Oakland is trying hard to deal the impending free agent, but the first-base market is essentially limited to the Yankees only, and the Athletics front office hasn't been enamored with any of the offers that have come their way.
A second source suggested that the Red Sox could get into the mix given the horrific slump Mitch Moreland has fallen into during the past five weeks. In 29 games since June 15, Moreland is hitting .160 (16-for-100) with a paltry .492 OPS.
Despite the flurry of activity this week, several executives believe teams with solid relievers -- especially the controllable arms -- will take their time before making any deals.
San Diego's Brad Hand, Detroit's Justin Wilson and Miami's AJ Ramos are all under control beyond this year, and while Wilson's name has gotten hot in the past 24-48 hours, a source said the Padres are likely to wait at least a few more days before trading Hand.
Baltimore is still listening to offers for Zach Britton and Brad Brach, though it's less certain that the Orioles will decide to move them.
Rental relief options include Philadelphia's Pat Neshek, Addison Reed of the Mets and Anthony Swarzak of the White Sox.
On second thought
Thursday night, it appeared to be a lock that Jaime Garcia was headed to the Twins in exchange for a Minor Leaguer or two, but as of Friday morning, that was not only in jeopardy, but a source categorized the chances of it getting completed as "slim."
Atlanta continued to discuss Garcia with other teams Friday; earlier this week, a source put the number of teams that had expressed interest in the left-hander at about a dozen.
Garcia started the season with a 3.18 ERA in his first 10 starts through May 31, but he regressed in his next six outings, pitching to a 6.87 ERA. Garcia rebounded in his last start, holding the D-backs to one run over seven innings.
With no deal to the Twins in place, Garcia took the mound Friday night against the Dodgers.