Rangers are in “substantive talks” with the Padres for Heath Bell

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So you know, “substantive talks” are more than just “kicking the tires,” which in turn is more than someone just being “willing to listen.”  Anyway.

Ken Rosenthal says that the Rangers are in said “substantive talks” with the Padres for closer Heath Bell.  Given that they’ve basically thrown Neftali Feliz under the bus* during his recent struggles, it should not be at all surprising that they may be interested in Bell.

The Rangers could certainly be the front runners here.  The Cardinals were interested, but they were apparently offering Colby Rasmus, so that theory is over.  The Phillies were interested too, but there has been no activity there in recent days.

*Question for Nolan Ryan and Ron Washington: Now that you believe that Feliz does not have the mentality or intensity or whatever the hell it is you claim he lacks to be a closer, are you prepared to admit that he should have been a starter all along?

Justin Verlander earns 200th career win

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Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.

Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.

Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.