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Julio Borbon: Spanish for 'Trade Bait'

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Julio Borbon: Spanish for 'Trade Bait'

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Unless you've been under a rock, or hiding in a million dollar compound for the past five years, you're fully aware of the Rangers' bullpen woes.

Even the rock solid back of the bullpen, Neftali Feliz, has had his fair share of struggles recently, not to mention the ageless wonders Arthur Rhodes and Darren Oliver.

Darren O'Day is on the 60-day DL, Pedro Strop is not consistent enough to stay in the bigs, Alexi Ogando is the Rangers' new ace.

The only bright spot in the Rangers' bullpen until Wednesday's Feliz save was Mark Lowe, who's come back from a horrid start and trip to Round Rock with whatever was ailing him seemingly fixed.

Lowe is still not trusted enough to be a reliable set-up man for Feliz, so the Rangers need to get out and get a legitimate set-up man, preferably another team's closer such as Pittsburgh's Joel Hanrahan or San Diego's Heath Bell, both of which have been recent points of discussion.

To get another team's closer is going to take more than prospects, it's going to take Major League ready guys who can contribute right away.

There are a few viable pieces the Rangers can offer such as Chris Davis or David Murphy, but there might not be a more appealing piece than Julio Borbon.

Borbon, granted, hasn't always been good. He's had his struggles for the Rangers, but this season he appears to have settled into a comfortable role in center field after an awful spring. He's got all the tools teams look for in a potential leadoff man/center fielder: range, speed, base stealing threat, hit for average. He's still got some learning to do, but he's definitely a type of guy that a team would take a chance on.

With the Rangers' recent wealth of center field talent, Borbon is also the most expendable. He's still the Rangers' starter in center, so it's not like he's a piece of garbage to throw away, but he is expendable with the recent play of Endy Chavez as Borbon's been on the DL and is set to return soon. There's also the Leonys Martin factor.

Martin is turning heads in Frisco right now after being signed last month to a $15 million deal over five years as the first Cuban defector to ever be signed by the Texas Rangers. He is like Borbon, but just better and with more potential. He's expected to stick around in the minors this season and be ready to win the job next season. The Rangers wouldn't have given him $15 million if they weren't pretty confident about that.

So is Chavez/Craig Gentry ready to be the Rangers' full-time center fielder for the rest of the season and hit in the 9 hole? Maybe. Maybe not. But he's shown promise. If not, you just bite the bullet and move Josh Hamilton back to center and play Murphy every day in left.

A deal will be done. That's a guarantee. Borbon seems to the best bait the Rangers have to serve up.

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