The Rangers aren’t optimistic that they’ll land one of the Rays’ controllable starting pitchers, writes FOX’s Ken Rosenthal in his latest notes column. The Rays continue to focus on Jurickson Profar, who could fill a void at shortstop, but the Rangers like the idea of Profar playing all four infield positions and seeing time for them in the outfield next year as well. The Rangers may be willing to budge on Profar if it meant Chris Archer, but Jake Odorizzi and Matt Moore are seemingly held in lesser regard.
A few more highlights from the piece…
- The Rays are also receiving interest in their starters from non-contending clubs that are aiming to contend within the next couple of seasons. That gives Tampa Bay further leverage in talks, as they’re not limited to restocking their farms with only prospects from clubs that are currently in contention. The Astros, too, are eyeing the limited number of controllable arms that are available, and the division rivalry aspect could play into Tampa Bay’s favor if both Texas and Houston set their sights on the same Rays arm. Alternatively, each of their starters has so much club control remaining that the Rays could just wait until the offseason and market their starters as teams miss out on the few quality free agents that are available.
- The Cubs are still seeking a top-tier left-handed reliever even after landing Mike Montgomery, but they’re also eyeing Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick, as previously reported by Jon Morosi. Rosenthal writes that some teams may eventually concede that the pitching help they covet isn’t going to be available at a price they like and could simply upgrade the offense, thinking that adding value is adding value regardless of position. Reddick, he notes, would be an upgrade for the Cubs over Chris Coghlan, and deepening a roster in any fashion bodes well for the playoffs.
- The Astros are looking for left-handed relief help and asked the Braves about Hunter Cervenka as a fallback option if their primary, more established targets don’t pan out. Fellow left-hander Ian Krol has gotten some looks for the Braves as well, Rosenthal notes, though I’d personally imagine that Krol would have a higher price tag, as Cervenka has walked nearly six batters per nine innings this season and has limited big league experience.