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July 09, 2013

Trade for right-handed bat on Rangers' radar

A look at the Rangers' lineup Tuesday provides plenty of explanation as to why the club is seeking a right-handed power bat with just over three weeks remaining until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Manager Ron Washington had the light-hitting right-handed bats of Elvis Andrus and Robinson Chirinos in the bottom half of the lineup to help break up a glut of left-handed hitters against Baltimore lefty Zach Britton.

The Orioles will start another port-sider, Wei-Yin Chen, tonight.

The Rangers were a right-handed bat short to open the year, but are now missing a couple more. Utility man Jeff Baker, who fares well against lefties, and switch-hitting designated hitter Lance Berkman are both on the disabled list.

The Rangers could also be without right-fielder Nelson Cruz, their leader in homers and RBIs, if he is suspended for his involvement with the Biogenesis of America clinic and his potential appeal fails.

A right-handed bat isn't a luxury item. It's a necessity.

"That's not a secret," manager Ron Washington said. "We've been talking about we’d like to get another right-handed bat."

Much will depend on which clubs will be sellers at the deadline. The most coveted right-handed-hitting outfielder is Giancarlo Stanton, but Miami officials have indicated that he won’t be dealt.

The Chicago White Sox would part with outfielder Alex Rios, who has 11 homers after hitting 25 in 2012, but the Rangers have some concerns about his contract. They would owe him just more than $4 million this year and $13.5 million in 2014.

-- Jeff Wilson

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