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July 31, 2012

Ryan Dempster acquisition shakes up pitching staff

The Rangers have scheduled Ryan Dempster to make his first start for them Thursday in the series finale against the Angels, and struggling right-hander Roy Oswalt has been moved to the bullpen to create a rotation spot for Dempster.

Scott Feldman, who has one run his past two starts and in 21 innings overall, will remain in the rotation over Oswalt, who allowed eight runs in 5 1/3 innings Monday in his first start since suffering tightness in his lower back July 17.

Though he was signed in late May to be a starter, he told manager Ron Washington that he is willing to do anything as long as he gets a chance to play for a winner.

"That was the way I wanted him to act," Washington said.

General manager Jon Daniels said that the Dempster trade wasn't made until fewer than 10 minutes remained before the 3 p.m. deadline. The Rangers had started to sense a few days ago that Dempster would be open to waiving his 10/5 rights for a trade from the Cubs, but didn't learn until Tuesday that was indeed the case.

"Unfortunately, a lot of these things come down right at the end," Daniels said. "I wish it didn't happen that way, but I'm quite sure on both sides that makes things happen. We've done deals before, like Lee, that got done a while before. This was literally within five or 10 minutes of the deadline.

"We had an inkling before today that this was somewhat interesting to him, but I got the sense all along that they [the Cubs] were going to flush out the Dodgers deal. If that didn't happen, they were going to open it up, and that's basically what happened."

Rangers players were excited to add Dempster. Only one of them, newly acquired catcher Geovany Soto, knows much about him as they've been teammates since 2008. But there was positive vibe flowing in the clubhouse.

"We're excited to have him," veteran Michael Young said. "It's another good arm to have for the last two or three months. To add a guy who's a veteran and has been through big games is a big plus."

-- Jeff Wilson

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