GM surveys bullpen market, won't panic

ATLANTA – Rangers general manager Jon Daniels isn’t going to allow a rough stretch in June force him to make any rash decisions. In other words, the GM isn’t pushing any panic buttons.

He is searching for bullpen help, but wants to find the right deal. And with so many teams still in divisional races, that deal may not present itself for a few more weeks or another month.

“It’s early,” Daniels said. “Our focus is on the group we have here and getting the guys healthy. This is the time of year where conversations pick up after the draft and we’ll look at that. We’re going through a bad stretch. We’re not trying to look for trade that’s going to solve everything.”

Daniels, speaking just after his team was swept by the Yankees in a 3-2, 12-inning loss on Thursday, hasn’t lost confidence in the current group.

“My sense is we’ll pull out of this and start playing better and things will get a little clearer,” Daniels said. “We’re always looking to improve the club. I think we have to look internally first and then see what the trade market bears.”

The internal options aren’t quite ready to help, but they are getting closer. Tommy Hunter (groin), Scott Feldman (knee) and Brandon Webb (shoulder) continue to rehab and try to work their way to the majors. They have starting experience and could also help the club in the bullpen depending on what the rotation looked like when they return. Darren O’Day (hip) could be ready to start a rehab assignment next week and could bolster the bullpen by the end of this month.

As for the trade market, a handful of names have surfaced in various reports that could be available. Names like Mike Adams and Luke Gregerson of the Padres and Kojo Uehara of the Orioles and Todd Coffey of the Nationals. Maybe even Heath Bell or Kerry Wood, but both of those would cost more in trade value. The market should get larger once teams decide they are in selling mode.

For now, Daniels will continue to make calls and wait for the right opportunity. In the meantime, he’s hopeful he might get some internal reinforcements soon.