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Rangers still covet right-handed bat, Garza

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are among the teams that continue to have active trade discussions with the Cubs for starting pitcher Matt Garza. The Rangers have placed Ross Wolf in the rotation but they are still hoping to land Garza, whether it's in the next few days or by the July 31 Trade Deadline.

The Rangers are looking for both a starting pitcher and a right-handed bat.

"We could go both ways," general manager Jon Daniels said. "We're having active conversations on both fronts. We'd like to improve the club."

Garza, 29, is 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA in 11 starts for the Cubs and is being pursued by just about every team in need of starting pitching. The Rangers are considered a strong candidate because of their deep farm system.

The Rangers will open the second half with Derek Holland, Wolf and Martin Perez pitching during the three-game series with the Orioles that starts on Friday. Yu Darvish, who threw a bullpen session on Thursday, is expected to come off the disabled list on Monday and there is a strong possibility Alexi Ogando could do the same on Tuesday.

Justin Grimm, who is 2-4 with a 9.91 ERA in his past eight starts, would pitch Tuesday if Ogando is not ready. Otherwise Grimm could end up in the bullpen. Nick Tepesch, on the disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow, has started playing catch again but is not close to being activated. Colby Lewis, who pitched 2 2/3 innings on medical rehabilitation assignment Tuesday at Double-A Frisco, is unlikely to be an option before the Trade Deadline.

"We're getting ready to activate two starting pitchers and that will go a long way to getting us back to where we want to be," Daniels said. "But our goal is more than just being in a good position. We have high goals and expectations, and we'd like to reward and help these guys."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
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