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Notes: Teixeira part of team's future

Notes: Teixeira part of team's future

ARLINGTON -- Rangers general manager Jon Daniels stated the obvious in admitting that his team will be a "seller" in the summer trade market. But he is not planning on including first baseman Mark Teixeira on his list of available players.

"I have had no conversations with other teams about Mark Teixeira," Daniels said before Tuesday's game with the Detroit Tigers. "When I look at this team and the things that need to be addressed for now and the future, Mark is not one of them. Mark is one of our most consistent players. He's a star in this league.

"I'll never be one not to listen, but [with] a player of Mark's stature, a team is going to have to have a strong desire to pick up the phone. We're not baiting the hook or actively talking about Mark Teixeira."

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Teixeira is signed through this year and is arbitration-eligible through 2008, then can become a free agent after that season.

"The thought of playing without him, I don't even want to think about that right now," shortstop Michael Young said. "I signed a long-term contract expecting to play around guys like Tex."

The Rangers will likely have other players to offer, most notably closer Eric Gagne. He can be a free agent after this season and the Rangers expect a strong market for closers.

Asked if the Rangers will be sellers, Daniels said, "If things don't turn around, we'll have to consider it."

Daniels said he's waiting for the time when it's most advantageous for trade discussions to begin.

"Right now, general managers are locked in draft rooms," Daniels said. "I haven't spoken with many people. But once we pull out of the Draft and get through Interleague Play, I expect conversations to heat up."

Daniels also made it clear that he still stands by manager Ron Washington, even though the Rangers entered Tuesday's game with the worst record in the American League.

"Ron preaches common sense, winning baseball," Daniels said. "We're not trying to reinvent the wheel. He's an old-school guy and I still believe in his ability to lead this team.

"Ultimately, I'm accountable for the way this team plays. I made the decisions on the staff and the personnel. When the players play good, I look good. When they play bad, I look bad. Right now, I look bad."

Cruz, Kata: The Rangers optioned outfielder Nelson Cruz to Triple-A Oklahoma and designated utility man Matt Kata for assignment. The moves were made to make room for John Rheinecker, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma, and Jerry Hairston, who was activated off the disabled list.

"I'm kind of disappointed," Cruz said. "I expected to be better. I guess I tried to do too much. That's all. I can't think of anything else."

Cruz was sent down hitting .188 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 144 at-bats. He had also stopped playing regularly with the emergence of Victor Diaz and Marlon Byrd. The Rangers want him to play regularly at Oklahoma to see if he can get his confidence back.

"We need to get Nellie going," Daniels said. "We know he's better than this. He just hasn't shown it at the Major League level."

Kata, who was hitting .186, was platooning at third base with Ramon Vazquez, a left-handed hitter. Washington said Vazquez will start playing against some lefties and he started on Tuesday against Nate Robertson. Hairston will also play some third base.

McCarthy, Padilla watch: The Rangers expect Brandon McCarthy and Vicente Padilla to return to the mound this weekend against the Milwaukee Brewers.

McCarthy was skipped in his last start because of a blister on his right middle finger, but threw approximately 40 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday without any problems. He'll start Saturday against the Brewers.

Padilla missed Tuesday's start because of irritation behind his right elbow. It's a problem that he has to watch carefully, but it has flared up recently and was affecting his control.

"He got an MRI and everything checked out OK," Washington said. "He's pretty confident he'll miss one start and be better the next time out."

He said it: "It been tough but there are no excuses. We've got to pitch better. These guys know how good they are. They've got talent. It's not going to happen overnight, but it needs to get better." --Catcher Gerald Laird, on the Rangers pitchers

Monday's Minor Stars:
• Gold: Triple-A Oklahoma first baseman Nate Gold was 5-for-5 with two home runs and seven RBIs on Sunday and followed that up by going 3-for-6 with two RBIs on Monday in two victories over Colorado Springs. He was the PCL Player of the Week.

• Silver: Class A Clinton completed a three-game sweep of Kane County with two strong pitching performances from Michael Ballard (7-4, 4.11) on Sunday and Broc Coffman (5-0, 3.05) on Monday. Ballard gave up two unearned runs in seven innings and Coffman allowed one run in seven innings.

• Bronze: Class A Bakersfield first baseman Nick Cadena was 3-for-3 with a home run and six RBIs in a 10-9 victory over Stockton.

Briefly: Brad Wilkerson, on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, started at designated hitter for Double A Frisco on Tuesday. He could be activated at some point during the three-game series with the Brewers this weekend. ... Bakersfield catcher Taylor Teagarden was the Rangers Minor League Player of the Month for May, hitting .338 with eight home runs and 18 RBIs. His OPS of 1.199 was the highest in all of the Minor Leagues. ... Clinton pitcher Omar Poveda was the Pitcher of the Month after going 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA in five starts.

Up next: Right-hander Kevin Millwood pitches for the Rangers against the Detroit Tigers at 7:35 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Right-hander Justin Verlander pitches for the Tigers.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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