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Texas Rangers Rumors
The Rangers have been discussing trades with the Braves, Mets, Diamondbacks and Nationals at the Winter Meetings, though they’re reportedly no longer talking to the Dodgers about Matt Kemp. Here’s some more out of Arlington…
- The Rangers and Rockies have continued to discuss catcher Wilin Rosario, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Rosario would help address Texas’ need for both a right-handed bat and a catcher.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels said that offers have been extended to free agent pitchers but sources tell Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Justin Masterson “isn’t in [the] picture.”
- Talks with Gavin Floyd‘s agent have been put on hold for now, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Floyd posted strong numbers (2.65 ERA, 3.46 K/BB) over nine starts with the Braves in 2014 before having his season ended by a broken bone in his throwing elbow.
- Also from Grant, the Rangers are interested in bringing Scott Baker back on a minor league contract, though the righty is hoping to land a Major League deal. After missing almost all of the 2012-13 seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery, Baker posted a 5.47 ERA over 80 2/3 IP with Texas last season.
- The Rangers will protect Russell Wilson from the Rule 5 Draft on their Triple-A roster, which Grant explains is a procedural move that would force a claiming team to keep Wilson on its Major League roster all season. Texas is essentially keeping Wilson in the fold as a “Spring Training motivational speaker” since he’s obviously not leaving the NFL any time soon.
We’ve already published one set of NL East Notes today, but there’s no shortage of news coming out of the Winter Meetings. Here’s the latest from around the division…
- The Giants would only be interested in taking on Braves outfielder Justin Upton and his substantial salary if signing Jon Lester was no longer an option, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Since the Giants have been told they’re out of the hunt for Lester, it’s fair to speculate that they could now turn their attention to Upton.
- A rumored trade that would’ve sent Upton and Chris Johnson from the Braves to the Giants is about a week old and “not happening,” a source tells CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo spoke to reporters (including Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com) about a number of topics, such as how teams are showing increased interest in Washington’s relief corps over the last day. “When David Robertson signed, our relief pitchers came more into focus with other clubs,” Rizzo said. “We got a lot of traffic on those guys.” There has been a particularly large amount of interest in Tyler Clippard.
- Rizzo met with Ian Desmond‘s agents and expects to meet with Jordan Zimmermann‘s agents before the Winter Meetings are over. It was reported earlier this week that the Nats would explore an extension with Zimmermann, and Rizzo certainly expressed his eagerness to talk to the right-hander. “Zim’s part of the furniture here. He’s drafted, signed, developed and starred with the same organization. We feel he’s one of our own, and we’re certainly eager to discuss things with him,” Rizzo said. The GM isn’t sure, however, what Zimmermann’s asking price will be in this round of negotiations.
- The Marlins have interest in Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports (Twitter link). It was reported earlier today that L.A. was open to offers for Gordon.
- The Mets aren’t close to dealing a starter, but if they do swing a trade, the Rangers and Royals are both “viable landing spots,” ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin tweets. Jon Niese would command a larger return than Dillon Gee, though Rubin says the Mets would prefer to trade Gee since they feel Niese has more upside and can better help the club contend in 2015. They would trade Niese for a good enough offer, however (Twitter links).
- The Rangers, Royals and Giants are Gee’s most serious suitors, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman writes (via Twitter).
- In regards to the Mets‘ shortstop search, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo hears that the team is “far more” interested in Jed Lowrie or Stephen Drew than they are with Asdrubal Cabrera.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Asdrubal Cabrera | Atlanta Braves | Chris Johnson | Dee Gordon | Dillon Gee | Ian Desmond | Jed Lowrie | Jon Niese | Jordan Zimmermann | Justin Upton | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Dodgers | Miami Marlins | New York Mets | San Francisco Giants | Stephen Drew | Texas Rangers | Tyler Clippard | Washington Nationals
TODAY, 3:27pm: The Mariners and Rangers are also out on Kemp, Heyman tweets.
2:20pm: The Orioles are out on Kemp, sources tell Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun. Baltimore had concerns with Kemp’s long-term health and talks went nowhere after the Dodgers asked about young pitchers Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.
12:05pm: The sides are still working hard on a deal and have made progress, tweets Rosenthal. Los Angeles is looking for another quality piece in addition to Grandal, with strong pitching prospect Matt Wisler being a “possibility,” per Rosenthal.
YESTERDAY, 10:53am: The talks have run “hot and cold,” a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. San Diego does have focused interest in Kemp, though Justin Upton could be an option as well. (Twitter links.)
10:27am: The Padres are the team that is most likely to land Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp via trade, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). Recent reports had tied the two clubs in talks.
San Diego’s current offer includes Yasmani Grandal and another player, reflecting the prior reporting of FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that the backstop was in play. The talented 26-year-old would provide a platoon option with upside for the Dodgers.
Of course, with the Padres in the lead it still remains an open question just how likely Los Angeles is to move its star and, if so, how much money it is willing to eat on his contract. His market is complicated by the fact that several other right-handed power bats are available.
2:14pm: Texas has also engaged the Diamondbacks in talks on starting pitching, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Wade Miley and, perhaps, Trevor Cahill are the likeliest targets, per Grant.
1:45pm: Multiple reports suggest that the Rangers and Nationals have engaged in discussions involving the Nats’ starting pitching. It appears that the sides have mutual interest, but may not see eye-to-eye on the pieces they would like to move.
Texas has inquired about righty Jordan Zimmermann, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports on Twitter. But the club has received indications that the Nationals are uninterested in moving Zimmermann, though they will listen on Doug Fister.
Meanwhile, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post hears (Twitter link) that the Rangers have expressed strong interest in the D.C. arms. The Nationals, in turn, have asked about 20-year-old second baseman Rougned Odor, with Texas indicating it is not interested in dealing him.
These clubs make plenty of sense on paper as possible trade partners, but it is not difficult to see why negotiations have landed at the apparent standoff described above. The Nationals have little reason to deal away high-end starters unless they can bring back a near-term and long-term solution at second base. And the Rangers will be loath to sell off an up-the-middle player who just hit at a roughly league average clip at age 20.
In more trade notes involving Texas and the National League East, the Rangers and Braves have reportedly engaged in discussion of deals involving right-handed power bats, per MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links).
Texas has interest in catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis, per Sullivan. But Atlanta is asking for top pitching prospect Alex Gonzalez in response. Sullivan says that price tag is not going to work for the Rangers.
It would appear that the teams have also chatted about outfielder Justin Upton, though Sullivan says that Texas would be interested in serving as a conduit to deliver Upton to another club. The Rangers would look to achieve pitching in such a deal, he says, but would not be interested in sacrificing top prospects to do so.
Here’s the latest news on the Braves out of San Diego:
- Echoing the prior report, president of baseball operations John Hart says that he will keep both Upton and Gattis unless he gets what he is looking for, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The club still has the option of attempting to compete by keeping them and adding another starter and a second baseman.
- Teams in discussions with the Braves now feel they might be likely to keep Gattis, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets.
- The Braves are now packaging Justin Upton and Chris Johnson in trade talks with teams, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter).
- Atlanta is fielding interest on Upton from the Orioles, Rangers, and Padres, Bowman reports (Twitter links).
- When the Royals asked about Gattis several weeks back, the Braves asked for young righty Yordano Ventura in return. Needless to say, that seems to have been a non-starter.
- The Braves “seem ready to be aggressive,” sources from competitors tell MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (Twitter links). Justin Upton and Evan Gattis remain the two most talked-about trade targets, but infielder Tyler Pastornicky and righty Anthony Varvaro “could also be included in talks,” per Bowman. Pastornicky is a 24-year-old infielder who could figure into Atlanta’s plans at second if he is kept. Varvaro, 30, has been a fixture in the Braves pen over the last several years.
- While there remain several teams that are good potential matches on Upton, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the Padres might be the best given their supply of young, controllable pitching. A note from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports earlier today also suggested a viable connection between those clubs on Upton.
- While there is general agreement that Upton is a more valuable commodity than was the previously-traded Jason Heyward, teams remain hesitant to beat the return for the latter, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. There is a general sense that the package given up by the Cardinals, headlined by Shelby Miller, may have outstripped Heyward’s value.
The Red Sox are mired in “a mess of their own making” after “lowballing” Jon Lester last spring, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald writes. That reported $70MM offer (which the team later characterized as merely a starting point) got negotiations off on the wrong foot, and the team wound up dealing Lester to Oakland in July. Of course, the Red Sox could still end up signing Lester, and if they don’t, there are alternatives, like Cole Hamels or Max Scherzer. But if they don’t, Silverman writes, their decisions last spring will remain in question. Here are more quick notes from around the Majors.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos says the rumors surrounding club president and CEO Paul Beeston have had no impact on him, writes MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “Honestly I haven’t thought about it at all today, and I’m being dead serious,” says Anthopoulos. “No one has brought it up to me, nobody. This is the first time I’ve talked about it today. I just don’t get caught up in it.” Anthopoulos claimed Chris Colabello from the Twins on Monday, and also reportedly pursued a trade for Royals closer Greg Holland.
- Rockies GM Jeff Bridich says catcher Wilin Rosario has mostly attracted interest from AL clubs, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports. Rosario is better offensively than defensively, and AL clubs could use him at DH. The Rangers are one possible fit, Harding suggests. A report last week indicated that the Rockies were interested in trying to trade Rosario, who is projected to receive a raise to $3.6MM in 2015 through the arbitration process. Harding writes that the Rockies would look for another catcher if they traded Rosario.
GM Brian Sabean says the Giants won’t have Buster Posey replace Pablo Sandoval at third base, and they continue to view him as a backstop, MLB.com’s Chris Haft writes. “He’s a franchise player, a franchise catcher,” Sabean says, adding that Sandoval, who recently signed with the Red Sox, was a key presence in the Giants’ clubhouse. “He brought a lot of energy. He loved playing the game. He’ll be missed on and off the field,” Sabean says. The Giants will continue to look for a third baseman and left fielder, but Sabean expects they might do so through trades and not through free agent signings. Here are more notes from the National League.
- Braves president of baseball operations John Hart told MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (via Twitter) that a few teams have shown interest in Justin Upton and Evan Gattis. Hart expects things to heat up once some key free agents sign.
- The Braves do not have any trade talks at a “serious stage,” tweets David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. According to Hart, the club has spent more time talking with free agents, particularly second basemen and starting pitchers.
- We heard earlier tonight that the Mets and Rangers have engaged in trade talks. Texas is looking for starting pitching, which New York has in abundance. However, the Mets aren’t high on Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, reports Marc Carig of Newsday (via Twitter). Presumably, the Mets aren’t keen on the eight-years and $120MM owed to Andrus. Another shortstop option, prospect Luis Sardinas, looks more like a utility fielder to the Mets. They don’t think he’s a long term solution at shortstop.
- Thanks to Anthony Rendon‘s flexibility, the Nationals can look to acquire a second or third baseman to fill out their roster, writes Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider. The club has kept in touch with free agent Asdrubal Cabrera and is exploring the trade market. Danny Espinosa is the current in-house option at second base.
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington indicates he wouldn’t hesitate to deal for a starter who is under contract for just one more year, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com. “I think there’s actual some real value in a guy who’s not signed long-term, if they fit in the rotation, because it gives you a chance to get to know him and see if it could be a fit…I don’t think we’d necessarily need a negotiation wind-down to consider (a deal for one).” Here’s more from around the Majors.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said he has received calls on every one of the M’s young relievers as well as shortstops Brad Miller and Chris Taylor, according to Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times (on Twitter).
- Dan Uggla intends to make a comeback and five teams are interested, agent Terry Bross tells Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- Padres GM A.J. Preller is hard at work at the Winter Meetings, but he’s also taking the long view of the winter, writes Corey Brock of MLB.com. “The offseason is a long offseason, and it doesn’t end with the Winter Meetings,” Preller cautioned. “In an ideal world, we get something done this week that improves the team. But, ultimately, it may not be this week or this month.“
- When asked if he’s talking trade with the Rangers, Padres GM A.J. Preller said “Honestly, we haven’t talked players yet today,” according to Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego (via Twitter).
- The Pirates are working multiple angles, as Tom Singer of MLB.com writes. “And it’s not just the top-tier free agents,” GM Neal Huntington said. “It’s also the guys who could be traded; a lot of pitchers are in their free-agent walk years, and there are various ongoing conversations in the industry. We’re engaged on a bunch of different fronts.”
- Trading Dillon Gee would give the Mets flexibility this offseason, opines Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. The Mets could still shop Jon Niese or Bartolo Colon, but GM Sandy Alderson says that he likes Niese’s left arm and team-friendly contract, and that he isn’t trying to trade Colon.
- The Marlins are trying to fill one void without creating another, writes Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.
The Giants have fallen short on a few free agent targets this offseason, but they’re not worried, reports Henry Schulman in a series of tweets. Per Schulman, the Giants don’t feel a need to “win” bidding wars. They’ll stick to their dollar figure, which could affect their pursuit of Jon Lester. The club clearly wasn’t comfortable topping the $68MM offer to Yasmany Tomas or $44MM offer to Nick Markakis. In the case of another free agent they missed out on – Pablo Sandoval – the Giants reportedly made a comparable offer to the Red Sox.
- Sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter) that the D’Backs would need to be “overwhelmed” to move Mark Trumbo. Still, the Mariners are among the teams that are monitoring the situation.
- Earlier today, Diamondbacks Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa said that contrary to reports, there was no agreed upon deal with the Dodgers that would have sent Miguel Montero to L.A. When asked if a Montero-to-the-Dodgers deal could still happen, La Russa said, “The conversations are not what they were before. I think it’s less likely,” according to Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic (via Twitter). However, La Russa added that ownership has not deemed Montero untouchable (link).
- Dodgers president Andrew Friedman says that he’ll let the year play out before addressing Zack Greinke‘s opt out clause, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter). From the sound of it, the Dodgers don’t have extension talks with the pitcher on their agenda for this winter.
- Friedman said he would have zero hesitation in trading players within the division, tweets Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
- Friedman went on to say (link) that he has not visited any free agents this winter.
- Corey Brock of MLB.com (via Twitter) doesn’t think that there’s much to the speculation that the Rangers will make a run at Padres pitcher Andrew Cashner. Texas reportedly has more interest in Tyson Ross.