Thursday July 19th, 2012

Danny Knobler of writes that the Texas Rangers are in search of a No. 1 starter to anchor their rotation, with their focus first on lefthander Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies and then on righthander Zack Greinke of the Milwaukee Brewers.

But if they strike out with both, sources tell Knobler that the Rangers would consider a reunion with lefthander Cliff Lee, who spurned Texas when the team acquired him in the middle of the 2010 season, choosing instead to return to Philadelphia as a free agent.

Knobler points out that there are significant hurdles to getting a deal done, not least of which is that Lee is due $25 million in each of the next three seasons, with a $12.5 million buyout for 2016. Moreover, if the Phillies decide not to sell, that would take both Hamels and Lee off the table.

The Rangers did have a scout in Los Angeles on Wednesday to watch Lee two-hit the Dodgers over eight innings.

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