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Minor on rumors: 'It does make us mad'

@Sullivan_Ranger
July 17, 2019

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were five games over .500 going into Wednesday’s game with the D-backs. That’s why their players don’t want to hear about key guys like Mike Minor, Hunter Pence and others possibly being dealt before the July 31 Trade Deadline. “It does make us mad,” Minor said.

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were five games over .500 going into Wednesday’s game with the D-backs. That’s why their players don’t want to hear about key guys like Mike Minor, Hunter Pence and others possibly being dealt before the July 31 Trade Deadline.

“It does make us mad,” Minor said. “We’ve played well all season, then we lose a couple of games and we’re supposedly ready to deal guys when we have 2 1/2 months left in the season. But that’s the job we have.”

Minor is most prominently mentioned and for good reason. He is 8-4 with a 2.73 ERA, he is signed through 2020 and just about every contending team is looking for starting pitching, including the Yankees, Phillies, Brewers, Astros and Braves. The Rangers have shown significant interest in the past about the Braves' collection of pitching prospects including right-handers Kyle Wright and Ian Anderson, among others.

But Minor made his feelings clear on the subject.

“I don’t want to go anywhere,” Minor said. “My name was talked about in the offseason, so I’m used to it. It seems like ever since I signed, I’ve been a topic. It’s like I signed here just to be traded.”

General manager Jon Daniels has made it clear that he doesn’t see the Rangers being traditional buyers or sellers. Daniels said he is looking for ways to upgrade the team now, but is also open to deals that could fit in the Rangers' long-term goal of rebuilding a sustainable winning organization.

The Rangers showed they are interested in bringing in immediate help when they engaged the Royals in trade discussions concerning catcher Martin Maldonado. He is a free agent after the season, but ended up going to the Cubs earlier this week.

“You try to see what’s good for the club now and in the future,” Daniels said. “Sometimes they are one and the same and sometimes they are not.”

But as the Deadline approaches in the next two weeks, the rumors suggesting the Rangers are going to be sellers are unlikely to abate unless they get on a hot streak quickly.

Manager Chris Woodward said it’s a real factor that can’t be ignored even though he wants his players to focus on the game at hand.

“It is distracting when the idea of us being sellers gets thrown out there,” Woodward said. “Players don’t want to hear that. They still have the belief that we are going to win a World Series. I don’t ever want to take that away from them. But I will tell them I’ve seen teams that tried to add at the Deadline and actually got worse, and I've seen teams that subtracted at the Deadline and got better. Either way, we’ll be fine.”

Pence has been through this twice before in late July. In 2011, the Astros traded him to the Phillies. One year later, the Phillies traded him to the Giants and he ended up winning two World Series in San Francisco. He said the key to this time of the year is staying locked into the present and not worried about the future.

“You are always hoping to get additions and you are making a charge to go win the World Series,” Pence said. “We’re all excited and feel good [about] who we have. We have a great collection of talent and we are just staying dialed in to prepare for the game today. That keeps me happy. Any time I get caught up in what’s going to happen in the future, it stresses you out and is not good for you.”

Rangers beat

• Utility player Danny Santana has increased his workouts at third base. He has played just six games there in his career, and the last one was in 2017. But Woodward is clearly intrigued by the idea. Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .125 in his last 24 games.

“Anywhere we can get [Santana] in the lineup,” Woodward said. “Right now, he’s as good of player as there is in the big leagues and arguably one of our top two to three players. I am going to find a way to get him in there. This is a tough business. You have to produce in this business and everybody knows it. When a guy is producing, you have to ride that out and see what we have.”

• Joey Gallo’s home run in the fourth inning on Tuesday night had a launch angle of 39 degrees and a distance of 429 feet. Gallo has had 12 home runs go over 425 feet this season, the most in the Major Leagues.

• After right-hander Taylor Guerrieri made his first appearance on Tuesday night, the Rangers have used 27 pitchers this season. That’s the third most in the American League. The Mariners have used 36 and the Orioles have used 33.

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.