Daniels looks internally for improvement

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said the club is more focused on getting a boost from players who will return from injury -- pitchers Rich Harden and Derek Holland, plus catcher Matt Treanor -- than through trades as the deadline inches closer.

"We'll continue to survey the market. If there's something out there that helps us, we'll move on it, but that's the same as it was yesterday," Daniels said. "I'm not going to handicap anything. We've got some guys coming back that could help us."

Of course, the Rangers also have that little issue of bankruptcy court hanging over any potential move. Daniels described the club's flexibility to make deals as "the same spot as we've been in."

He was then asked if that meant he doesn't feel hamstrung to make a deal. Daniels deadpanned, "I didn't say that."

He said any potential trades would go through the proper MLB channels on a case-by-case basis for approval.

*Daniels said he wasn't suprised to see the Angels make a trade Sunday for Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Dan Haren.

"Not to say we knew about it by any stretch, but they're a very well-run organization and they're opportunistic," Daniels said. "I don't think we expected that they were not going to look to improve their club. They got a very good pitcher."

Daniels would not specify if the Rangers had looked at Haren when talks seemed to be stymied with the Mariners over Cliff Lee, but he said that Lee was always at the top of their wish list.

*On Lee's first three starts, Daniels said he's "done just what you'd hoped for: Gives us a chance to win, saves the bullpen and provided a real energy for our fan base, our club and set the tone for some of our other pitchers as well."

*Daniels refuted a report that said the Rangers had three scouts in Baltimore on Friday night to watch Orioles first baseman Ty Wiggington. The Rangers are interested in acquiring a right-handed first baseman.