T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com has some Rangers notes. Of course, much of it revolves around the outfield, since they missed out on Torii Hunter.
On that front, they're exploring Kosuke Fukudome, who is reportedly seeking three years and $30 million. Add the Rangers to the Cubs, the Phillies, the Yomiuri Giants and his former team, the Chunichi Dragons. I would toss the Nats and possibly the Twins in that group, and there are probably other teams where Fukudome would fit.
The Rangers have a level of interest in both Aaron Rowand and Andruw Jones, but not nearly to the level that they were interested in Hunter. They won't go five years at $75 million for Rowand like they did Hunter, and are concerned with Jones's 2007 drop-off. Mike Cameron is also mentioned, but Jon Daniels has said that "we would like to find a long-term fit for us." Cameron would be little more than a stopgap.
Jose Guillen is also mentioned, though there is little elaboration. I'd bet that many teams are going to wait on the Mitchell Report, in hopes that it drops Guillen's price tag. Then again, at that point it would only take one aggressive team to scoop him up. I'm betting it won' be the Rangers, but as we saw with the Hunter deal, many of these moves seemingly come out of nowhere.
Internal candidates include Marlon Byrd and David Murphy, who was acquired in the Eric Gagne trade. The only other options would be available via trade. Sullivan mentions Coco Crisp, Rocco Baldelli, Reggie Willits, and even free agent Scott Podsednik, though he mentions that each has his shortcomings.
Other than mentioning the big names on the trade market, Sullivan brings up the Mets interest in Gerald Laird. He notes that the Mets won't part with Carloz Gomez or "Felix" (though he really means Fernando) Martinez. There's a mention of the Mets being willing to talk about Mike Pelfrey or Philip Humber, but that seems foolish. Even if their stocks have fallen over the past year, I don't see any reason to trade them for a catcher who has had one good year -- in part-time duty -- and flopped in his first year of over 300 plate appearances.
Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.
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