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Yankees lineup vs. Rangers - Zoilo Almonte brought up, Jeff Francis designated for assignment; Tulowitzki rumors

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees take on the Rangers in their last series of the season out west and it's going to be an interesting lineup tonight:

The Yankees have called up Zoilo Almonte in order to serve as the proper fourth outfielder that the team currently doesn't have. To make room for him on the roster, Jeff Francis has been designated for assignment after pitching in just two games over 1.2 innings during his Yankees career. The move opens up a spot on the 40-man roster and unless there's some kind of trade brewing, it could be just the opening Rob Refsnyder needs to get a call-up.

Mark Teixeira is out of the lineup again tonight, so their decision not to DL him is looking more and more questionable. He says he expects to be in the lineup tonight, but we'll see. Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter lead off, however, Jacoby Ellsbury is also sitting out tonight, and given the sudden move to bring up Zoilo, it doesn't look very promising for the center fielder. Brian McCann remains at first base with Carlos Beltran again at DH. Francisco Cervelli remains behind the plate for what seems like the 100th game straight, Brian Roberts is at second, and Ichiro Suzuki and Zoilo Almonte are in the same lineup. This could be a weird game.

With trade rumors starting to brew around Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, it appears that in the very unlikely event he is dealt, Colorado will not simply ship him off to any potential bidder.

Tulowitzki has spoke about his respect for Derek Jeter, choosing to wear No. 2 in honor of his favorite player. He has acknowledged the storyline of replacing him at shortstop next year, but is this a place he would want to go? Would the Yankees even be able to put together a string enough package to get the Rockies to make a trade they don't really have to make? We'll have to see.