General manager Jon Daniels remains in constant contact with multiple clubs for multiple reasons as the Deadline approaches, and there's little doubt clubs would be interested in Darvish if the Rangers make him available.
All indications are the Rangers won't trade Darvish unless they are "blown away" by an offer, instead preferring to upgrade their team -- especially in the bullpen -- in order to make a run at the American League Wild Card.
Darvish surrendered a career-high 10 runs in Wednesday's 22-10 loss to the Marlins at Globe Life Park, and his next start is being slotted for Tuesday against the Mariners. The Rangers are using Thursday's off-day to give all their starters an extra day of rest.
Andrew Cashner pitches on Friday against the Orioles. The Rangers would then need a starter for Saturday to replace Tyson Ross, who is on the disabled list with a blister on his right index finger.
The choices are to bring Austin Bibens-Dirkx out of the bullpen or activate A.J. Griffin off the DL. Griffin has been sidelined for two months with a strained right intercostal muscle and has made two starts on a medical rehabilitation assignment. He threw five scoreless innings on 73 pitches for Double-A Frisco on Monday night.
"We're still leaning toward him having another rehab start," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
The Rangers will go with Martin Perez on Sunday against the Orioles and Cole Hamels on Monday to open the Mariners series. That would leave Darvish to start on Tuesday, the day after the Trade Deadline.
The Rangers entered Wednesday's game against the Marlins 3 1/2 games behind in the Wild Card race. There were five teams in front of them, but the Rangers are still confident they can make a run at the postseason.
"This is baseball. You see different things every year, and you always see the unexpected," Hamels said. "The Wild Card team is normally the team that goes further because they are the ones that have to battle the whole year. They didn't have things handed to them. There weren't as many easy games. You put yourself in that mind that you have to take control, stay true to your teammates and play the game of baseball to the very last out."