Evan Grant writes for the Dallas Morning News, but he posted this column at night. Go figure. He’s got some new info regarding the Rangers.
- As you know, the Rangers have had difficulty finding a long-term center fielder. That’s the main focus of this offseason. The team has already shown interest in Torii Hunter and Aaron Rowand, the top center fielders available. Other free agents such as Andruw Jones and Mike Cameron appear to be in play as well. Grant’s trade candidates: Coco Crisp, David DeJesus, Mark Kotsay, and Carlos Beltran. We’ve speculated on DeJesus to Atlanta in the past. With DeJesus signed cheaply through 2011 and the market at the position robust this winter, it might make sense for Dayton Moore to wait a year to shop him aggressively.
- Grant adds that Jon Daniels is considering some affordable options for first base. They’ve already talked to Mike Lamb‘s agent and like Kevin Millar as well. Lamb came up through the Rangers’ system but was traded to the Yankees in ’04. Millar is under contract for ’08 but it’s in the $3-4MM range and the Orioles should be open to a trade. Grant says Ben Broussard could pique the Rangers’ interest if he’s non-tendered.
- Grant concludes with five Rangers whose names will be bandied about in trade talks: Gerald Laird, Vicente Padilla, Joaquin Arias, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Nelson Cruz. Salty’s not being shopped but Grant expects teams to ask. He proposes some kind of bad contract swap for Padilla – Jason Giambi, Richie Sexson, or Adam Eaton are named. I still think it’s funny the way Padilla crawled away from the brawl he started this year.