The Texas Rangers are talking to other teams about acquiring an outfielder in the wake of Nelson Cruz's 50-game suspension, but are moving forward with internal solutions for the time being, report T.R. Sullivan and William Boor of MLB.com.
General manager Jon Daniels said that the club continues to explore its waiver-trade options, but didn't express much optimism about finding an impact player at this point in the season:
"We go through the waiver balloon every day and make decisions on who we would claim," Daniels said. "Obviously there's some strategy to it for potentially blocking guys. We're mainly looking at it as guys we can use on our club.
"We're realistic about it. You don't see that many impactful trades made this time of year."
Cruz, 33, was one of 13 players handed a suspension on Monday for his ties to the Biogenesis PED clinic. He will not be eligible to return to the Rangers this season unless the club makes the playoffs. Even then -- if Melky Cabrera is any sort of precedent -- the club may choose not to use him, so Texas is in definite need of a new right fielder.
The Rangers' immediate solution appears to be an internal one. The club promoted two outfielders -- Joey Butler and Engel Beltre -- from Triple-A on Monday, giving the team six outfielders on the active roster (not including Jurickson Profar, whose outfield days appear to be over).
With three lefty batters and three righty batters, the Rangers could employ a perfect outfield platoon if they so choose. For instance, David Murphy got the start in right field against Angels right-hander Jerome Williams on Monday, but he could be spelled by Butler or utility man Jeff Baker whenever the club faces a southpaw.
Butler, 27, is getting his first taste of big-league action after three seasons with Triple-A Round Rock. The Mississippi native is batting an impressive .290/.375/.437 with 10 home runs in 97 games for the Express this year, which is actually a slight decline from his 2012 numbers.
Beltre, who got the start in left field Monday night, is in his second stint with the Rangers this season. The 23-year-old appeared in 13 games for the club in June and July, racking up nine hits in 30 plate appearances. He is also batting .302/.360/.405 with four big flies in 74 games with Round Rock.