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Latest News as of July 14, 2003

July 11, 2003 - The Trade

The Rangers pulled off a trade with the Florida Marlins before Friday night's game against the Royals. In this trade the gave up Ugueth Urbina, and received three highly regarded players. The Rangers sent Urbina, the American League leader with 26 saves, to the Marlins for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, 21, left-handed started Ryan Snare, 24, and corner outfielder WillSmith, 21. Gonzalez was the number one overall pick in the 200 amateur draft. All of these players have been playing most of this season at Double-A Carolina, and the Rangers expect to assign all to Double-A Frisco.

According to the Dallas Morning News, "to have two other legitimitae prospects included in the deal makes it a steal of monumental prorportions." In this deal, the Rangers will pay only around $1.75 million of the approximately $2.3 million left on Urbina's contract. Rangers general manager John Hart said, "we're saddened on one hand to lose Oggie, but we're bringing back very good players. From the beginning it was believed that Urbina would be the one moveable player, and Hart played hard to get the deal with the Marlins. Buck Showalter was ready to start celebrating when hearing of receiving Gonzalez, and couldn't believe it when there was even more to the trade.

Gonzalez, the first high school infielder taken No.1 in the draft since A-Rod, hit .266 last season with 17 home runs at Double-A Portland. He is the centerpiece to the deal, but by no means the only quality player. Snare was 5-4 with a 3.67 ERA at Carolina in 18 starts. He has given up 98 hits in 103 innings. He has struck out 77 and walked 37. Amith batted .293 in 34 games at Carolina. He runs well, leading the Gulf Coast league in doubles his first season in pro ball, and averaged 15 home runs over the next two years after that.

Adrian Gonzalez being groomed to start at first base.

July 11, 2003 - Winning Streak Ends

The Rangers played the Kansas City Royals on Friday night, July 11th. This was the same night that they would enter the field without Ugueth Urbina. The Rangers relievers turned a one-run game in the eighth into a 13-3 loss to the Royals. This led to the demise of the teams four-game winning streak. Friday night Aaaron Fultz and Victor Santos gave up eight runs on six hits in the eight to send the game spinning far out of reach for the Rangers ball club.

With Urbina now gone, Cordero will slide into the closer's role. However, this very well means that life is going to change for everybosy else in the bullpen. " I think a lot of it will be more about matchups now, especially with us having three left-handers out there," Fultz said. He brings up a great point, that no matter what inning you pitch, you know you still have the closer behind you. That is what matters.

Ballpark Introduction - John Danks

John Danks is the newly signed first-round draft pick. He warmed up in the bullpen for the first time at The Ballpark on Friday. However, this warmup was just an introduction, and the Rangers declined to comment on his possible rise to the major leagues. This does make it even more clear, that the Rangers are grooming more and more young players. Danks is a left-handed pitcher who just graduate from Round Rock, TX, where he was 10-3 with a 1.61 ERA. His potential in the big leagues will be exciting to see.

July 9, 2003 - Major League Debut - Laynce Nix

Although Laynce Nix is not declared the Rangers outfielder of the future, the Rangers are ready to evaluate the young outfielder to see what he has to contribute to the team. He was recalled on Wednesday to replace injured outfielder Kevin Mench on the roster. Mench was placed on the fifteen day disabled list witha broken left wrist sustained when he was hit by a pitch Tuesday night against Minnesota.

Nix was batting .284 with 15 home runs and63 RBI's in 87 games for the RoughRiders this season. He is also tied for third in the Texas League in RBI's, tied for fourth in home runs, and rancks fifth in extra base hits with 38. Showalter likes Nix's defensive ability and said the outfielder has one of the best throwing arms in the organization. He will likely get the opportunity to start at all three outfield positions.

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