Texas Rangers Rumors

Texas Rangers trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

AL Notes: Melky, Jays, Red Sox, Masterson

With the Winter Meetings in the books, be sure to check out this interesting piece from Joe Lemire for Medium.com regarding the change wrought on the process by changes in communication technology. Texting has replaced in-person dealmaking and reporting, writes Lemire, which in some ways undermines the purpose of teams gathering in one place. Of course, as we found out this week, the annual meet-up is still capable of supporting a hotbed of transactional movement.

Here’s the latest from the American League:

  • The Mariners have made free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera a three-year offer, Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com reports (Spanish language link). Cabrera is looking for at least one more guaranteed year, says Rojas. This news reflects a recent report from Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, who suggested that the sides were at something of a standoff along those lines.
  • The Blue Jays are looking at the free agent market for a second baseman but are not interested in guaranteeing more than three years, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports on Twitter. “You won’t see any four or five-year deals,” said GM Alex Anthopoulos.
  • Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald (Twitter link) rejects the idea that the Red Sox made a mistake by not landing Jon Lester. That assessment, says Silverman, will depend upon whether the team finds a suitable alternative.
  • Justin Masterson says that the Rangers were one of several claims to make him an offer before he signed with the Red Sox, the Herald’s Scott Lauber reports on Twitter. That offer was for $6MM in guaranteed money, WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford tweets.

Rangers Acquire Ross Detwiler

After a season in which their pitching staff (and position players) were ravaged by injuries, the Rangers have added an arm to solidify their staff, announcing the acquisition Ross Detwiler from the Nationals. In exchange, Washington will receive righty Abel De Los Santos and infielder Chris Bostick.

Ross Detwiler

Detwiler, a former first-round pick, enters his age-29 season after a somewhat disappointing 2014 campaign. Working from the pen, Detwiler threw 63 innings of 4.00 ERA ball with 5.6 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9.

Previously, Detwiler had established himself as a fairly solid starter: he carried a 3.46 ERA over 301 2/3 frames from 2011-13, most of it working from the rotation. But the Nats shifted him to the pen given the team’s stacked rotation and the possibility that his stuff would play up in that role. Realistically, he did not have much of a place on this year’s Nationals roster with several lefties and starting depth pieces in place.

The southpaw comes with just one year of control — at a projected $3.3MM price tag — but will provide Texas with a rotation option or possible swingman piece. MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes that the Rangers will give Detwiler the opportunity to start, though he could ultimately end up in a setup role if that does not pan out. While it is perhaps optimistic to say he has significant upside at this stage of his career, Detwiler could still deliver plenty of value for the Rangers. In particular, his solid 46.5 percent career ground-ball rate should be an asset with Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre in the infield.

The 21-year-old De Los Santos split the 2014 season between Class-A and Class-A Advanced, posting an outstanding 1.92 ERA with 10.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 56 1/3 innings of relief. In his review of the Rangers’ prospects, Fangraphs’ Kiley McDaniel mentioned De Los Santos as a potential power arm in the bullpen.

Bostick, also 21, was acquired by the Rangers in last year’s Craig Gentry trade. He spent the season with Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach and batted a respectable .251/.332/.412 with 11 homers and 24 steals (though he was caught 11 times as well). Bostick ranked 18th among A’s prospects at the time he was dealt to the Rangers, but his numbers in the Florida State League represented a decline from his work in the Midwest League a year prior.

This swap largely kicks off the offseason for both clubs. They have previously been linked in several trade scenarios, but nothing has been consummated. In fact, per MLBTR’s Transaction Tracker, the last time Texas and Washington matched up on a deal, the Nats acquired Tanner Roark — the man who in large part kept Detwiler from a rotation spot last year.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports first reported that the Rangers would acquire Detwiler (on Twitter). USA Today’s Scott Boeck reported that Bostick and De Los Santos were headed to the Nats (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Minor Moves: Villarreal, Noonan, Rangers

Here are today’s minor transactions, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Twins have signed right-hander Brayan Villarreal to a split contract, ESPN’s Enrique Rojas reports (via Twitter).  The deal contains an invitation to Minnesota’s Spring Training camp and Villarreal will earn $522K if he stays on the Twins’ Major League roster.  Villarreal last pitched in the majors in 2013 and spent last season with the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate.
  • The Yankees signed infielder Nick Noonan to a minor league deal, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports (Twitter link).  Noonan, taken 32nd overall by the Giants in the 2007 draft, has a .262/.316/.368 slash line over 3322 career PA in the minors, all in San Francisco’s farm system.  He appeared in 62 games with the Giants in 2013.
  • The Rangers signed outfielder Antoan Richardson and right-handers Anthony Bass and Ross Wolf to minor league deals with Spring Training invitations, the team announced (hat tip to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).
  • The Marlins are likely to sign free agent infielder Scott Sizemore, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo tweets.  Sizemore signed a minor league deal with the Yankees last winter and played in six games for the club before being released and re-signed over the summer.  Due in part to a pair of major knee injuries, Sizemore has only appeared in eight Major League games over the last three seasons.
  • The Brewers have released outfielder Jeremy Hermida so he can pursue an opportunity to play in Japan, the team announced.  Hermida just signed a new minor league contract with Milwaukee in November.  The former 11th overall pick (in the 2002 draft) and top prospect last played in the majors in 2012 as a member of the Padres.


AL Notes: Blue Jays, Yankees, Rangers, Santos

Now that Andrew Miller, David Robertson, Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek are off the market, the Blue Jays are likely to try to upgrade their bullpen through trades, Shi Davidi of SportsNet.ca writes. GM Alex Anthopoulos doesn’t want to trade any of his top pitching prospects, and he might not have as much of a budget to work with as is commonly believed, but he might part with a lower-level prospect to acquire the right reliever. The team could also use C/DH Dioner Navarro as a trade chip. Also, Davidi writes that the Jays have interest in Japanese second baseman Takashi Toritani, who might be available on a short-term deal. Here are more notes from the American League.

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman says he’s taking a “patient” approach in the Winter Meetings, Chad Jennings of the Journal News reports. The Yankees continue to look for both starters and relievers. Cashman adds that he asked about both Dee Gordon and Jimmy Rollins before their teams agreed (or reportedly agreed, in Rollins’ case) to trade them Wednesday, and says that the Yankees are unlikely to select a player in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft.
  • The Rangers have had talks with free-agent reliever Sergio Santos but are not close to signing him, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweets. Santos had a miserable 2014 season with the Blue Jays, allowing 22 runs in 20 innings and getting outrighted twice, but he had success in the big leagues as recently as 2013.

Rangers Notes: Shields, Reliever, Wood, Rule 5

James Shields and his representatives met with the Rangers during the Winter Meetings, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports.  Jon Daniels confirmed the meeting with reporters (including T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com) but said that it was largely a case of due diligence and because Shields lived in San Diego.  “We wanted to be prepared if anything changes drastically. We enjoyed it, we like the guy a lot. In other circumstances we would like to have him. It was a function of him living out here so we took advantage of it,” Daniels said.  “We’re not going to be in the top level of free agents. It would take something substantial to change to get involved with those free agents.”

Here’s some more from the Rangers camp…

  • The Rangers are close to an agreement with a free agent reliever, Daniels told reporters (including Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News).  The pitcher is a “veteran, right-handed, one-inning reliever” who didn’t pitch for Texas last season, and Daniels hopes to have the signing completed by next week.
  • Starting pitching is still the Rangers’ top priority, Daniels said, and while they likely won’t make a splash for someone like Shields, the club is keeping its payroll options open for future moves.  “One of the reasons we haven’t acted on other stuff is that we want to make sure we have resources to act on pitching.  We’ve elected to not spend dollars elsewhere,” Daniels said.
  • In addition to their previously-reported interest in Wade Miley, Jeff Wilson reports that the Rangers have also considered a trade for Cubs lefty Travis Wood.
  • The Rangers are getting a lot of interest in their No. 3 overall pick in tomorrow’s Rule 5 Draft, Wilson tweets.  If Texas does decide to trade the pick, it will be for a player and not for money, Wilson said.

Free Agent Rumors: Furcal, Grilli, Young, Mets

Free agent infielder Rafael Furcal could be a fit for the Royals on a minor league deal thanks to his connection with GM Dayton Moore, according to Tim Dierkes of MLBTR (via Twitter).  Here are some of the latest free agency rumors out of San Diego..

  • Jason Grilli has multiple offers from teams in major markets but the Tigers are not one of them, his agent tells Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter).
  • The Rangers have interest in Eric Young Jr., but they may have already been outbid, according to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News.
  • Mets GM Sandy Alderson says he is considering bidding in the posting of Jung-ho Kang, but he’s unresolved as to whether he will, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • The Orioles could be a landing spot for former Rangers pitcher Alexi Ogando, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com (via Twitter).
  • After signing Jon Lester, the Cubs are now pursuing outfielder Jonny Gomes in an apparent effort to get the band back together, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
  • Catcher David Ross tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) that he’s not close on a deal with any club even though he has interest from the Red Sox, Cubs, Braves, D’Backs, and Padres.

Outfield Trade Notes: Pads, Cubs, Upton, Gattis, Kemp, Trumbo

There is a fairly lengthy list of right-handed hitting outfield bats being discussed in trade scenarios. Here’s the latest on some members of that group:

  • The Padres and Cubs are “turning up” their efforts to add a right-handed power bat, tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who notes that Upton is one elite option on the market. At this point, the possible involvement of the Cubs on more prominent outfield targets remains largely an undercurrent, and O’Brien himself cautions not to read between the lines too much on that possibility.
  • The Cubs are pursuing a power bat capable of playing in left, tweets Jim Bowden of ESPN.com. Chicago has, of course, been tied to Jonny Gomes, but it is not clear if the club might have its eyes on a larger prize.
  • As noted in a separate post, the Orioles have expressed interest in Yoenis Cespedes, though nothing is imminent.

Earlier Updates

  • The Braves continue to get hits on both Justin Upton and Evan Gattis, Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets. The GiantsRangersRoyals, and Padres have interest in both players, while the Mariners are only interested in the former.
  • The Royals are indeed interested in Upton and Gattis but remain disinterested in parting with Danny Duffy or Yordano Ventura, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star tweets.
  • While the Dodgers and Padres are continuing to discuss a Matt Kemp deal, the sides do not have a direct match, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The clubs are attempting to involve a third team to make a deal, says Rosenthal.
  • The Diamondbacks are still fielding calls on Mark Trumbo, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports on Twitter. It remains to be seen, of course, just how interested Arizona is in moving the slugger. Rival executives feel they are receiving mixed signals on that point, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic.

Starter Rumors: Red Sox Yet To Engage On Hamels, Giants May Be In

With Jon Lester off the market, we should start to see some dominoes fall.  Here are the latest pitching rumors from around baseball.

  • Talks between the Tigers and Red Sox have yet to gain any traction, tweets Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
  • The Red Sox have yet to engage the Phillies on Hamels, Stark reports (Twitter links). It is early, of course, though perhaps it would have been expected that Boston would immediate move to that option. The team is, however, working on several other deals including a previously-rumored swap involving Yoenis Cespedes and Rick Porcello.

Earlier Updates

  • After missing on Lester, the Giants have interest in dealing for Hamels, sources tell Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Earlier rumors that San Francisco is casting a wide net appear to have been well-founded, as the team has been reported to have at least some involvement in a wide variety of possible additions.
  • The Twins have interest in Kyle Kendrick and have already had a meeting in San Diego, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets.
  • Dillon Gee is the most likely Mets pitcher to go in trade, followed by Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter).  The Rangers aren’t enamored with the Mets’ pitching but the Royals and Twins have been mentioned as possibilities.
  • The Red Sox aren’t currently close on acquiring Cole Hamels from the Phillies, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  They could now turn their attention to Diamondbacks pitcher Wade Miley instead and one of five other pitchers that they have their eyes on.  James Shields could also be a free agent option for Boston.
  • Two unnamed owners traveled to the winter meetings to meet with Max Scherzer‘s agent Scott Boras, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  Scherzer’s market should develop after Lester signed for $155MM over six years, but he’s aiming much higher this winter.  The losers in the Lester derby – the Giants, Red Sox, and Dodgers – could all be candidates for Scherzer with the Giants being the one team in the group certain to take a serious look.

NL West Rumors: Morse, Rosario, Rockies, Padres

The latest from the NL West..


Mets Discussing Dillon Gee With Multiple Teams

WEDNESDAY: The Giants have also contacted the Mets about Gee, Morosi tweets.

TUESDAY 10:23pm: The Rockies and Twins have also spoken to New York about Gee, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.

9:31pm: Up to six teams are interested in Gee, MLB Network Radio’s Jim Duquette reports (hat tip to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News).

8:54pm: The Mets and Rangers are discussing a possible trade that would send right-hander Dillon Gee to Texas, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports (Twitter link).  The Rangers were said to be preparing to talk to the Mets about Gee (and Jon Niese) yesterday.  While the two sides have talked, however, “nothing is close on that front,” according to The Record’s Matt Ehalt (Twitter link).

With the Rangers looking for rotation upgrades and the Mets shopping their veteran arms, the two teams seem like a good match as trade partners.  Gee is a Texas native and played his college ball in Arlington, so a trade to the Rangers would be a virtual homecoming for the 28-year-old.  MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projects Gee will earn $5.1MM in 2015 via his second trip through the arbitration process, and he’s controllable through the 2016 season.  Gee has posted a 3.91 ERA, 2.26 K/BB rate, 6.5 K/9 and 45.6% grounder rate over his 639 2/3 career innings (all with the Mets).