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Rangers open to more moves before Friday

August 29, 2018

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made a flurry of trades leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Deadline and are still exploring the possibility of doing more before Friday.Friday is the deadline for teams to acquire a player and have him still be eligible for the postseason roster. Players first must

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made a flurry of trades leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Deadline and are still exploring the possibility of doing more before Friday.
Friday is the deadline for teams to acquire a player and have him still be eligible for the postseason roster. Players first must either clear waivers or be traded to the team that claimed him off waivers. Players can be pulled back from a waiver claim if a deal can't be worked out.
"Nothing has changed really," general manager Jon Daniels said. "I've had a couple of conversations but don't expect anything at this point."
The Rangers made four trades in July that sent pitchers Cole Hamels and Jesse Chavez to the Cubs, Keone Kela to the Pirates and Jake Diekman to the D-backs, getting a total of eight players in return.
Clubs do not reveal which players have cleared waivers. But the Rangers have had enough players clear to give Daniels something to talk about with other clubs. Third baseman Adrian Beltre has dealt with trade speculation all summer, but he is dealing with a strained left hamstring that has all but totally eliminated the possibility.
"I know when we were on the other side, sometimes it's better for contending clubs to add on Aug. 31," Daniels said. "The guy doesn't have to show up until the next day and you don't have to make a roster move. You never know. Somebody might get an injury late and something might come up. We'll see."
Rangers consider Rays' pitching ploy
As the Rangers mull their pitching options for September, manager Jeff Banister admitted he is intrigued with a pitching concept used by the Rays this season.
The Rays have occasionally been using their top relievers in the first one or two innings of a game to get through the top part of a lineup. Once that pitcher is done, the Rays bring in the traditional "starter" to pitch multiple innings behind him.
Veteran Sergio Romo, who has 628 career relief appearances and leads the Rays with 18 saves, has started five games in that manner. They are the first starts of his career.
"There is the intriguing part of what some other teams have been doing that have shown some success and could possibly be part of, or some form of the future of how pitchers are deployed," Banister said. "Tampa has shown a system that does allow -- what are starters -- multi-inning guys that have the ability to maneuver through a set of hitters that prolong their stay into the game deeper by using an opener, if you will, whether it's a one-inning or two-inning set for the first guy.
"That's intriguing. That doesn't say that right now that the personnel is exactly the same [as Tampa Bay's], but it's the look of it, and how that works. Before we say it's something that we wouldn't do, it's something that we'd like to be able to take a look at and see what the benefits are."
Banister said Chris Martin would be a good candidate to fill that role while saving Jose Leclerc and Cory Gearrin for the back of the bullpen.
Rangers beat 
• The Rangers are still undecided on their rotation beyond Andrew Hutchison pitching against the Twins on Friday. But there is a possibility Bartolo Colon could come off the disabled list on Saturday and start that game.
• Banister said the Rangers won't be experimenting in September when they play the Athletics and the Mariners. Those are the two teams on their September schedule that still have a chance for postseason.
"You want to be able to competitively go out and be the best that you are," Banister said. "You still want to make sure that those games are played in a way that [is competitive]."
• Class A Hickory left-handed reliever Demarcus Evans has been selected to the South Atlantic League Postseason All-Star team. He is 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA and nine saves over 34 relief appearances.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.