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?

Joe Musgrove shut down with ab discomfort

Joe Musgrove
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Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.

Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.

While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.