ARLINGTON -- The Rangers wanted Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke, but they weren't willing to give up infielder Mike Olt. So the Brewers traded Greinke to the Angels for infield prospect Jean Segura and two pitching prospects on Friday. The Rangers, who would not put Olt in a deal for Greinke, are left to consider their options with four days to go before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. The two pitchers most prominently mentioned are Rays right-hander James Shields and Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson. But, according to industry sources, that's not necessarily the way the Rangers will go, especially if the asking price is too high. The Rangers, according to sources, could concentrate on reinforcing their bullpen and bench, and go with what they have as far as starters.
Scott Feldman, who has won four straight, is pitching well and Neftali Feliz, who has been sidelined since May 18 with a sprained right elbow, could be back within two weeks. The Rangers have also discussed the possibility of moving Alexi Ogando back into the rotation. He won 13 games as a starter last season before being moved back to the bullpen. "There is a need for a lot of things," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It's obvious that we want to get better. Everybody does. We just have to wait and see what happens." The Rangers have shown at least some interest in both Johnson and Shields but not as much as they did Greinke, whom they viewed as a pitcher who could fit into the front of a rotation. The Marlins, who are holding another fire sale as the Deadline approaches, are asking a high price in particular for Johnson while the Rays are still in the hunt for a Wild Card spot. The Rangers prefer someone who can fit at the front end of a rotation and make a difference during the playoffs, as Cliff Lee did in 2010. "We could use a good pitcher," Washington said. "If he happens to be a No. 1 pitcher that [general manager] Jon Daniels gets, that's fine." Shields is 8-7 with a 4.52 ERA in 21 starts for the Rays, who have a $9 million option on him for 2013 and a $12 million option for 2014. Johnson is 6-7 with a 4.14 ERA in 20 starts for the Marlins and is signed for next season at $13.75 million. He beat Atlanta, 2-1, with six scoreless innings in his start on Monday. The Rangers increased their search for starting pitching after Colby Lewis went down down with a torn flexor tendon. Lewis underwent surgery on Friday and Feldman is holding down that spot in the rotation. Feldman pitches Sunday against the White Sox. "I understand what's going on here," Feldman said. "We're trying to win. I want to win as bad as anyone in here. Whatever they decide and they determine is going to give us the best chance to win so I'm all about that." Olt is hitting .287 with 26 home runs and 74 RBIs in 89 games at Double-A Frisco and ranks with infielder Jurickson Profar as the Rangers' top two position prospects. The Rangers aren't interested in trading either player.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.