As the Rangers are still recovering from their disappointing finish to 2012, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan discussed a number of offseason possibilities for the club as part of a reader mailbag piece. Some of the hot stove highlights...
- Josh Hamilton will get at least one big-money, long-term offer this winter, leaving little chance that the Rangers would be able to sign him for any kind of relative discount, Hamilton believes. Rangers GM Jon Daniels said earlier this week that his team will wait to see what contract offers Hamilton receives from other clubs before making their own pitch to the free agent outfielder.
- Zack Greinke will be a top target for the Rangers this winter. "The Rangers made a strong push for him at the trade deadline...and this is still an organization that wants to build around pitching. That's where the club wants to spend its money," Sullivan writes.
- The Rangers are "unsure" about making a qualifying offer to pending free agent Mike Napoli since if he accepted, Texas would owe the catcher approximately $13.35MM for the 2013 season. If the Rangers didn't issue a qualifying offer and Napoli signed elsewhere, however, then the Rangers wouldn't receive any draft pick compensation. Sullivan argues that Napoli could accept the qualifying offer in the wake of his somewhat disappointing 2012 season and look to rebound in 2013 to set himself up for a larger long-term deal with Texas or another club.
- Though Mike Adams has been diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Sullivan thinks the 34-year-old reliever could still find a multiyear deal as a free agent. The Rangers would happily take Adams back on a one-year deal.
- Sullivan doesn't think Jacoby Ellsbury is a good fit in Texas and doesn't think the Rangers should or would trade Derek Holland or Elvis Andrus in exchange for the Red Sox center fielder. "[Nelson] Cruz for Ellsbury, maybe. But it would seem more logical to take a chance on Leonys Martin than give up substantial talent for an injury-prone outfielder who can walk after next season," opines Sullivan.
- Despite the numerous rumors about a Justin Upton trade, Sullivan isn't sure he's a fit for the Rangers since Cruz is already set at right field. Center field would be the only question mark for Texas next season if Hamilton leaves, as the Rangers have Cruz in right and David Murphy in left.
- Michael Young could receive some trade interest this winter from "a team in need of veteran leadership, as well as somebody who can play second base." Young hit .277/.312/.370 in 651 plate appearances last season, his lowest career OPS for a full campaign. Young turns 36 this month and is set to earn $16MM in 2013, the final year of his contract. He also has no-trade protection as a 10-and-5 player, adding another wrinkle to any possible trade talks.