July 31 represents one trade deadline. The non-waiver trade deadline. But August 31 represents another trade deadline. The waiver-trade deadline. Waiver trades can still be made in September, mind you, but players acquired in September aren't eligible for playoff rosters, meaning August 31 is the final day on which you can see real meaningful transactions. And on this August 31, the Texas Rangers have pulled off a pair of them - so far - by trading for Mike Gonzalez and Matt Treanor.
Gonzalez is coming from the Baltimore Orioles, who will receive a player to be named later. He's a veteran left-handed reliever who's held lefties to a .618 OPS in his career, and a .575 OPS this season. Like so many left-handed relievers, he can be exposed against right-handed batters, but he offers the Rangers a second southpaw behind Darren Oliver. Between Gonzalez, Mike Adams and Koji Uehara, Jon Daniels has done an excellent job of adding to the Ranger bullpen.
And Treanor is coming from the Kansas City Royals, who will receive either a player to be named later or cash considerations. Treanor was with the Rangers last season, and owns a .658 OPS on the year. He's a backup catcher and isn't a difference-maker, but he brings some familiarity, and he's insurance behind Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli.
Neither of these additions, obviously, make for big sexy headlines, but they give the Rangers tiny little boosts, and sometimes tiny little boosts can put a team over the top in October. And it's not like the Rangers really needed to make a major splash anyway. In case you haven't noticed, they are good.