Rangers acquiring Pudge from the Astros: Why?

Reports are varying on this one.  LoneStartBall has the deal as all but complete and TR Sullivan has it as near complete.  There will apparently be two mid-tier prospects swapped for Ivan Rodriguez, who will serve as Taylor Teagarden's back up.

I'm not sure why this deal is being made from the Ranger's perspective, and equally confused by this deal from our perspective.  Pudge isn't hitting, but with the rumors swirling that he might be kept on in 2010 to help mentor Jason Castro, I don't know why the Astroswould let him go.  Because Pudge isn't hitting, I don't know why the Rangers wanted to acquire him for the last six weeks of the season?

Perhaps once the prospects are named and the GM's speak this one will make more sense.

This now opens up the question of whether or not JR Towles will get another crack at the bigs? Or whether Humberto Quintero and Chris Coste will be share catching duties until the season's end?

**UPDATE**

MLBFanHouse is reporting, via twitter, that one of the PTBNL is relief pitcher Matt Nevarez.

**UPDATE**

Jeff Wilson of the Dallas Morning News has the contract information:

The Rangers are responsible for a prorated portion of the contract, which includes $1.5 million in incentives.

***HLP Update***

Jamey Newberg, blogger extraordinnaire and Ranger aficionado, recently ranked the top Rangers prospects and as expected Matt Nevarez isn't in the top 20. However, he is listed as a "pitcher to watch". Given the strength of the Rangers' farm system this isn't necessarily an indictment of Nevarez, but more of a testament to the Rangers' depth.

Here are Nevarez' stats from 2009. Obviously, he has pitched extremely well, but he has a long ways to go before he will be on the Astros' radar screen.

As far as the PTBNL could be, Newberg speclulates that it could be any of a number of minor league players on the Rangers 40 man roster or a minor leaguer that the Astros would have a set time period from which to choose from. If it is a player on the 40 man roster, expect it to be one these guys:

[C]andidates for the second player would conceivably include Thomas Diamond, Luis Mendoza, Joaquin Arias, Jose Vallejo, or Greg Golson. I leave players like Guillermo Moscoso, Warner Madrigal, Omar Poveda, Max Ramirez, and Brandon Boggs off because I don’t think Texas would include them in a deal like this.

Their 40 man roster in its entirety can be found here. None of those players Newberg lists as likely candidates are all that enticing in my opinion, so hopefully Wade can choose from more than just those five. However, considering that he's only giving up a 37 year old backup catcher whose mired in 1.5 season+ hitting slump, don't get overly optimistic on that front.

**UPDATE**

Richard Justice likes this trade because and thinks the Astros should continue to blow up their roster so that we can give younger players looks.  There's overly insightful in his piece, except for this:

My guess is that Drayton will fire Cecil Cooper and most of the coaching staff. This is a smart move only if he hires first-rate people to replace them, and his recent history indicates he may not do this.

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