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Rangers and Rays are talking about Jake Odorizzi

As we start the trade deadline season, the depleted Rangers are kicking the tires on starters who might be available for the stretch run

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Rangers have spoken to the Rays about a deal according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden:

Nothing seems imminent , but the deal certainly makes sense on paper. Still, take it with a big grain of salt, given that it’s Bowden who is reporting it.

Texas has the best record in the American League and is seven and a half games up on the Houston Astros, but is dealing with a lot of uncertainty in the starting rotation. Yu Darvish lasted three starts before heading back to the disabled list with elbow discomfort. He’s rehabbing now, but Derek Holland is still out with a shoulder inflammation, and Colby Lewis has a strained lat muscle in his back. A.J. Griffin is back from the DL, but is a ticking injury time bomb, waiting to go off again.

The Rays are 14 games under .500, poised to finish out of the playoffs for the third straight season, and should be looking to deal veterans. That said, Odorizzi hardly qualifies as that, with three more years before he enters free agency. He’s a slightly better average starter, and still only 26, with a 3.91 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 94.1 innings.

That has a ton of value, and the Rays would expect a big return. Texas definitely has the prospects to make that happen, with Jurickson Profar, and young pitchers Dillon Tate or Luis Ortiz being likely targets for the Rays.

But Odorizzi’s also an extreme flyball pitcher who might be severely hurt by a move to the dry Texas heat, so the Rangers might be hesitant to pay the going rate for his services, especially with Odorizzi’s teammate Matt Moore and the Minnesota Twins’ Ervin Santana likely to cost far less.