Rangers inquired about Marlins ace Josh Johnson

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Here’s a fun one to tide us all over until the rumors begin swirling again early Friday morning.

According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Rangers asked the Marlins about the availability of 26-year-old ace Josh Johnson while they were finishing up negotiations for infielder Jorge Cantu this week.  The Rangers even offered the Marlins their top three prospects, and if you’re familiar with that club’s farm system you know we’re talking about serious talent.

Of course, the Fish told the Rangers immediately that Johnson is “unmovable.”  The right-hander has posted a 10-3 record, a 1.00 WHIP and 146 strikeouts in 141.1 innings this season in south Florida.   He leads all major leaguers with a 1.72 ERA and he’s under team control through 2013 at a very affordable price.

Nice try, Rangers.  Isn’t the trade deadline a blast?

Report: Dodgers, Orioles to complete Manny Machado trade

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The Orioles and Dodgers are expected to finally complete involving SS/3B Manny Machado, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Orioles will receive five prospects from the Dodgers. We’ll have more details about the other players involved later.

Machado, 26, is in the final year of his contract, so this is currently a rental for the first-place Dodgers. Machado ended the first half batting .315/.387/.575 with 24 home runs, 65 RBI, 48 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 413 plate appearances. In Los Angeles, he will handle shortstop, allowing Chris Taylor to move over to second base.