ARLINGTON -- There is a growing feeling that the Rangers have a serious chance of obtaining left-hander Cliff Lee in a trade with the Mariners. That feeling is shared by those inside the Rangers clubhouse."Everybody is excited about it," pitcher C.J. Wilson said. "If we can improve, we're taking a good team and getting better. Obviously, his track record speaks for itself, and his experience speaks for itself." General manager Jon Daniels has made it a top priority and there are ongoing talks taking place between the Rangers and the Mariners. Nothing is imminent and there are many teams who have expressed interest in Lee, who is 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 13 starts this season. "There are 29 other teams that would love to have Lee," third baseman Michael Young said. "He's one of the best left-handers in the game. Let's leave it at that. Who wouldn't want him? Let's just let the front office do their job. I've faced the guy a lot, he's a great pitcher and a great competitor. Let's just leave it at that." The Mariners are expected to ask for a significant package in return, but one of the reasons why the Rangers are considered serious bidders is they have a deep farm system. The Mariners are looking for a big bat and the Rangers have either Justin Smoak or Chris Davis. Obviously, they would like to keep Smoak and trade Davis. The Rangers are also deep in pitching in the Minor Leagues. "I just know they are looking," manager Ron Washington said. "We'll just have to wait and see if we'll be able to do anything." Asked if starting pitching is high on the priority list, Washington said, "Improving the club is high on my wish list. That's one area. Right now, I'm trying to keep the focus on what we have going right here and now. We're three weeks away from [the Trade Deadline], my mind hasn't ventured that far yet. But we certainly want to improve the club if we can."
Harrison to start on Saturday
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have made it official. Matt Harrison will start on Saturday against the Orioles.Harrison is 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA in six starts for the Rangers this season while posting a 2.76 ERA in seven relief appearance. His last appearance was Monday for Triple-A Oklahoma City when he allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits and one walk in 4 1/3 innings while striking out four. "That's all right ... we know what Harrison can do," manager Ron Washington said. "We sent him down there to get stretched out, and this is an opportunity for him to start a game." The Rangers still hope Rich Harden (strained lower back) and/or Derek Holland (shoulder inflammation) will be ready to come off the disabled list after the All-Star break, but there is no guarantee they will be ready right away. "Right now we're giving the ball to Harrison," Washington said. "If we come out of the break and don't feel Harden or Holland are ready, then we'll give it to him again." Michael Young and Elvis Andrus were off on Tuesday. Vladimir Guerrero and Ian Kinsler were off on Wednesday. On Thursday manager Ron Washington made another adjustment and moved Nelson Cruz to the seventh spot in the order. Bengie Molina, after two days off, was hitting sixth behind Josh Hamilton. "It's something I did today," Washington said. "Just when I was writing out my lineup, Molina came out of my pen right behind Hamilton. Cruz is still in the lineup." Cruz is 2-for-17 in his last four games and hitting .250 (14-for-56) with one home run and six RBIs in 15 games since coming off the disabled list for the second time. He has been on the disabled list twice this season with hamstring injuries in both legs. "He's just trying to find himself," Washington said. "He's trying to find his rhythm, and the only way to find his rhythm is with at-bats. There are no health issues. His legs are fine." Washington said he may still try to find time off for some of his key players between now and the All-Star break. The Rangers won both games in which Washington sat Young, Andrus, Guerrero and Kinsler. As a bonus, Washington didn't have to use them late in the game. "That was huge right there to get those four guys a day off and us still being able to win," Washington said.
Fan who fell released from hospital
ARLINGTON -- Tyler Morris has been released from a Fort Worth hospital, two days after falling 30 feet from the club level to the lower seating bowl during a game at the Ballpark in Arlington.Morris left the hospital wearing a Josh Hamilton jersey sent to him by the Rangers. Morris fell while standing in the front row of the club level and trying to catch a foul ball that caromed over his head. He told reporters as he left the hospital that he bore no ill will toward the Rangers and was just lucky to be alive. "I'm very fortunate," Morris told WFAA Ch. 8. "It was a total accident."
Over the last month -- June 7 to July 7 -- the Rangers' bullpen has a 1.85 ERA over 27 games. Their season ERA is 3.23, third best in the American League. Opponents are hitting .230 off Rangers relievers, second lowest in the league. ... Josh Hamilton has a 27-game hitting streak at home. The longest home hitting streak in club history is 30 by Al Oliver in 1981. This is the longest by an AL player since Nomar Garciaparra had a 31-game streak in 2003. ... Neftali Feliz has 23 saves. Something to watch: most ever by a rookie was Kazuhiro Sasaki, who had 37 for the Mariners in 2000. Feliz is the 15th rookie to have at least 23 saves.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.