Here’s the latest hot stove buzz surrounding the Rangers.
- The team will try again to lock up second baseman Ian Kinsler long-term. It would be a five-year deal, buying out one year of free agency. Kinsler had an inconsistent 2007. He hit .298/.375/.667 with 9 HR in April and .256/.351/.393 thereafter. Nice to see him draw 62 walks though.
- Jon Daniels has had several teams ask him about Gerald Laird and Hank Blalock. He’s not likely to sell low on Blalock. But Laird is getting more costly and the Rangers want to use Jarrod Saltalamacchia full-time behind the plate. He’s only 28 – young in catcher years – and has a cannon for an arm. And while he didn’t hit much in ’07, he’s shown flashes of potential. The Red Sox have checked in on him.
- Daniels admitted publicly admitted that he’s open to trading Vicente Padilla. Might as well not hide it. This could be a fine buy-low opportunity for some team, if they can keep his attitude in check. The Cubs had interest last summer but don’t figure to re-open the discussion.
- The Rangers will look at Japanese options in Kosuke Fukudome and Hiroki Kuroda. They also like Mike Lamb and Ben Broussard. Those all seem like reasonable signings.