July 31, 2012 just got a whole lot more interesting.
On Monday, we learned that the Miami Marlins were willing to listen on any player that they have -- and they've already shipped out Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez. Miami is willing to talk Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson, with the Texas Rangers having interest in the latter.
Unfortunately for the Rangers, the Los Angeles Angels are also looking at Miami's ace. Per Ken Rosenthal:
The Los Angeles Angels, who are actively pursuing a starting pitcher, had a scout watching Miami Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson on Monday night.
That doesn't mean, however, that Johnson is their top priority - not when Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke and Tampa Bays righty James Shields also are available in trades.
Plenty of teams are likely going to jump in the Josh Johnson sweepstakes, since unlike Cole Hamels or Zack Greinke, Johnson is signed through 2013, so the Rangers and Angels aren't the only two teams after his services.
Of course, the news of Colby Lewis' season-ending injury has accelerated and altered Texas' deadline plans. While it's no guarantee that the Rangers add a top of the rotation starter, and it can be argued they don't even need one, the urgency within the front office to add one likely increased thanks to the hole left by Lewis in the rotation.
We'll see if this Rangers/Angels rivalry turns full-blown into Yankees/Red Sox, with the Angels doing everything they can to swipe Texas' trade targets.