There's an important fact that often gets left out of the breathless reporting of the July 31 trade deadline.
It's not actually the last time that teams can make trades. Any player that passes through waivers unclaimed can be traded (or traded to the claiming team) and put on a postseason roster through Aug. 31. In the past, that hasn't amounted to too many huge deals because most of the best players get claimed by teams that want them or teams that want to block rivals from getting them.
That might not be the case this year. There are a slew of expensive players with long-term contracts that teams out of contention are looking to deal and they are likely to get through waivers unscathed since there's a better than average chance that their current teams will just let them go.
Two of those players are Josh Beckett and Cliff Lee, a pair of pitchers that were mentioned in pre-deadline chatter without getting moved. Both of those players could come into play for the Rangers because Jon Daniels might not have solved his team's starting pitching issues with Tuesday's trade for Ryan Dempster.
Dempster's not the problem, mind you. The Rangers pitching is better than it was at this time on Tuesday. The problem is that the Rangers can't really feel all that secure with the other arms they've got in the rotation with Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis both done for the season.
Matt Harrison's playoff struggles from last year linger in the mind, Derek Holland hasn't become more consistent, Roy Oswalt isn't the old Roy Oswalt, Scott Feldman is the same old Scott Feldman and Yu Darvish's ability to go the distance remains a gigantic question mark. The next couple of weeks will provide Daniels and company a chance to see how this group handles the race with the Angels, whose pitching edge only got bigger with the trade for Zack Greinke.
There will surely be voices against any further moves, either because of the financial cost or the lost prospects, but there comes a point at the table when you've committed too many of your assets to simply fold your hand. The Rangers have reached that point, so it shouldn't be surprising if they decide to go all in before the month is out.