On the financial front, this interesting note from Jeff Wilson:
Judge D. Michael Lynn said last week that the Rangers won't be impeded on the road to the playoffs, which indicated that there is wiggle room in the budget. Daniels, though, said he has received no new orders on how he should proceed with trades. "We heard what he said, and if something presents itself that would require additional resources, I think we could follow up," Daniels said. "But I don't have any different budget or anything different at this point."
This quote appears to both confirm the Ranger's terrible oversight at the time of the bankruptcy filing to request additional operational funding from MLB or lenders (to avoid having to sell prospects for cash and do more in the trade market) and that they might still have some flexibility to do so before the trade deadline. It isn't clear however if that option actually still exists or if it had to made at filing. One curious aspect of the oversight is the failure of the local media to pillory the Ryan-Greenberg group for the oversight, the consequences of which have only been revealed in court proceedings via Nolan Ryan's testimony.
Harden makes his fourth start on Monday. If he can last 100 pitches, he will be sufficiently stretched out to force TX to make a decision about his future role though they have until 8/11 to do so when his rehab stint expires.
Holland will make his second rehab start on Wednesday after making his first for the AZL club on July/23 (3 shutout innings). The club could wait as long as 30 days to make a decision on him but it appears that he only needs to be stretched out before his activation. The decision on what role to use Holland in appears to be whether he replaces Feldman (or Harden) in the rotation or starts for OKC, as TX wants to keep him stretched out as a starter for obvious reasons. However, it appears that they have already made up their mind on how to contruct their bullpen for August, which means Holland probably won't go to the pen. After a lot of fanfare about Scheppers finally being stretched out to be a starter capable of going 100 pitches, he was immediately moved back to the bullpen. It seems that he will replace Mathis on the roster whenever he is ready and Nippert won't be activated from the DL until 9/1.
As to what they do with Harden, i just don't know. Maybe you get him one start (7/31) in the bigs to see if someone wants him in trade, make it known that Feldman is also available and make a deal if it makes sense. I'm kinda intrigued by the idea of Harden in the pen. Last year he got off to a slow start and then dominated in the second half, sitting with a plus fastball for the last 2 months of the season. Maybe a one inning role might suit him at this point in his horrible season. I am not at all interested in having Feldy in the bully as last year he was bad in that role before moving back to the rottation and I can't imagine he would be any better this year.
So I guess my preferred course of action would be this: trade Harden or Feldman and add the other to the pen though I prefer Harden over Feldy. Holland becomes the 5th starter Add Scheppers to the pen. Option Harrison and Mathis. Activate Nippert on 9/1. With Feldman cheaply under contract for next year, and with the possibility that he could find his 2-seam repertoire and compete for a roto spot in 2011, there is a strong argument to be made to keep him in the bully over Harden. As it appears that the team is set on keeping Ogando in the pen for the playoff run, even though he has options, it appears he isn't going anywhere. I suppose it is also possible to wait to add Scheppers to the pen while Harden auditions for the spot. I would prefer either or both Harden and/or Feldman in the pen to having Scheppers only pitch once a week, languishing on the bench, like so many other youngsters have during Warsh's reign, while continuing to overwork everyone else.
Well, at least you can't say that the next 10 days won't be really interesting.