The Rangers made their biggest additions at the trade deadline, writes Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The principle additions were ace Cole Hamels along with relievers Jake Diekman and Sam Dyson. Between Hamels’ contract and raises to existing personnel, the Rangers won’t have budget to compete for top free agents. Instead, they’ll pursue more cost effective options. Possible reunions with Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, and Mike Napoli represent a few possible fits. Additional bullpen depth is also seen as a need.
Here’s more from the western divisions:
- Padres GM A.J. Preller “remains an enigma,” writes Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune. Payroll is expected to range anywhere from slightly below last season’s $108MM to $120MM. That doesn’t give Preller any room for a splashy free agent signing. The club does have to work on building a better balanced product. A real shortstop – not Will Middlebrooks or Jedd Gyorko – should be a priority. The club probably also needs to replace Ian Kennedy and add another depth piece to the rotation. James Shields, Craig Kimbrel, Joaquin Benoit, and Derek Norris are the most likely veterans to be traded.
- History says the Rockies won’t make a splash either, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Trade interest in outfielder Carlos Gonzalez could affect the team’s plans. If the club is able to trade the two-years and $37MM remaining on his deal, they could potential bid for a slugger like Chris Davis. Despite terrible performance out of the rotation, they probably won’t try to woo free agent pitching.
- Angels GM Billy Eppler is a blend of the old and new schools, writes Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. For those interested, the profile of Eppler details his rise from intern to one of the top GM prospects in the game. The Angels faithful will hope his blend of scouting chops with an analytical instinct will result in a productive offseason for the club. His first test – the GM Meetings – begins on Monday.