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Rangers suffocating Angels, on field and in front office

July 30, 2010 |  6:06 pm

A Texas Rangers team that entered Friday with an 8 1/2-game lead over Oakland and a nine-game lead over the Angels in the American League West got even better, acquiring Jorge Cantu on Thursday from the Florida Marlins to play first base and Cristian Guzman on Friday from Washington to replace the injured Ian Kinsler (groin strain) at second base.

This, on top of the deals earlier this month that brought ace left-hander Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners and veteran catcher Bengie Molina from the San Francisco Giants.

"If I was a general manager I'd definitely put my foot down," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said. "They've been doing it since the All-Star break, when they acquired Lee. Then they got Molina, and now they have Cantu and Guzman?"

Hunter didn't finish his thought, but he didn't have to. The Rangers, despite being in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, are obviously serious about winning more than a division title. They have their sights set on the World Series, and they just might have the team to do it.

Cantu, who hit .262 with 10 homers and 54 runs batted in for Florida, joined the Rangers on Friday in Anaheim but was not in the starting lineup for the series opener against the Angels. Guzman, who was hitting .282 with 25 RBIs for the Nationals, is scheduled to join the Rangers on Saturday.

"I know Guzman, and he's a tremendous athlete," said Hunter, who played with Guzman in Minnesota. "I don't know if Kinsler is hurt real bad, because Cristian is a good player, with great speed and bat control. You don't acquire a player like him to sit on the bench."

-- Mike DiGiovanna