Texas Rangers Rumors
The Rangers have interest in starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. Colon would provide the Rangers with a backup plan in case Matt Harrison isn't ready to come back from injuries that limited him to two big-league starts in 2013. If Harrison is healthy, Colon would likely bump Alexi Ogando to the bullpen.
Colon will be 41 shortly after the start of the 2014 season, so he could very well be available to the Rangers on a one-year basis. Wilson notes that a one-year deal would be attractive for the Rangers, who might have Luke Jackson or other prospects knocking on the door by 2015. Colon posted a 2.65 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 190 1/3 innings with the Athletics last season.
TUESDAY: The Rangers have announced Arencibia's deal via press release, making it official.
FRIDAY, 1:44pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Arencibia will earn $1.8MM in 2014 and has an additional $300K worth of incentives in his deal (Twitter link).
12:44pm: Arencibia will receive roughly $2MM on a one-year deal, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
11:26am: The Rangers have reached an agreement with free agent catcher J.P. Arencibia, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (Sulia link). Reports last night indicated that the Rangers were nearing a deal with the CAA Sports client.
Arencibia will presumably back up Geovany Soto in Texas. Arencibia hit just .194/.227/.365 in 2013 and is unlikely to ever hit for much of an average, but with his power, he can be effective if he bats above .215 or so, as he did in 2011 and 2012. He has 62 home runs in the past three seasons, and hitting in Arlington should help him maintain that level of power. Though he has his warts, Arencibia was one of the game's top pitch-framing catchers in 2013 -- an undervalued element of catchers' skill sets.
Charlie Wilmoth contributed to this post.
The Diamondbacks were reportedly "determined" to leave the Winter Meetings with either Shin-Soo Choo or Mark Trumbo, and they've now landed the latter of the two, calling their role in Choo's market into question. That same report indicated that Choo is seeking something similar to Carl Crawford's seven-year, $142MM contract. Choo is arguably the top remaining free agent on the market, and talks with him were said to be reaching a "critical stage" last night. Here are Tuesday's Choo rumors (Choo-mors? ...Sorry):
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Diamondbacks are now likely out of the market on Choo after acquiring Trumbo.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick wonders if the Diamondbacks' reported interest in Choo was ever more than just a ploy to get the Angels moving on Trumbo. As Crasnick notes, there was never a clear fit in terms of budget (Twitter links).
- ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that teams that have spoken with the Rangers in the past 24 hours have gotten the sense that Texas thinks Choo will be be far too expensive for them.
- Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reported late last night that the Rangers met with Scott Boras for a second time last night regarding Choo.
- MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan writes that the Rangers' primary offensive targets are Choo and Nelson Cruz, but Sullivan echoes the sentiment that Choo's price tag could be an issue for Texas. Sullivan cites GM Jon Daniels, who stated yesterday that the addition of Prince Fielder figures to be his biggest move this offseason.
- As Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported earlier (on Twitter), the arrival of Rajai Davis in Detroit makes the Tigers less likely to land Choo.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that at least seven teams are interested in free agent third baseman Eric Chavez. According to Heyman, the Rangers, Rays, Pirates, Braves, Nationals, Diamondbacks and Yankees have all checked in on Chavez, though New York's recent signing of Kelly Johnson may close that door.
Chavez's agent, Scott Leventhal, told Heyman that Chavez isn't set on any one league or team but has an open mind. Chavez, who recently turned 36, followed up 2012's .281/.348/.496 batting line with the Yankees with a remarkably similar .281/.332/.476 batting line in Arizona this past season.
Chavez has a reputation as a fragile commodity (with good reason) and missed time with a pair of DL stints in 2013: one for an oblique strain and one for a knee strain. He played just 80 games for Arizona in 2013 and 113 games for New York in 2012. Once regarded as an elite defender at third base, Chavez has seen his defensive ratings slip late in his career due to a combination of age and injury.
The latest out of the AL East as today's Winter Meetings news heats up...
- ESPN's Jayson Stark tweets that the Rays are interested in Mitch Moreland of the Rangers and notes that a swap of Moreland and Matt Joyce is a possibility. That scenario hasn't gained much traction to this point, however, according to Stark (Twitter links).
- MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli was among the reporters to speak with Orioles manager Buck Showalter, and she reports that the O's aren't interested in Raul Ibanez but do have some interest in Gavin Floyd (Twitter link).
- Top Yankees prospects such as Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams have seen their stock fall precipitously in the past year, diminishing New York's ability to make trades, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. One Cubs official told Sherman, "The Yankees have no upper-level talent," when asked about potential trades between the two clubs.
- Also from Sherman's piece, right-hander Tommy Kahnle and lefty Fred Lewis are candidates to be selected in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. Kahnle was among the Yankees' most sought-after players in July trade talks but was left off the 40-man roster.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe spoke with A.J. Pierzynski, who told him that the Twins offered him a two-year deal to return to Minnesota, but he couldn't pass up on the opportunity to play for the Red Sox (Twitter link).
- Joh Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle spoke with a high-ranking Yankees official who told him there haven't been any discussions between the Yanks and Giants about New York's outfielders at the Winter Meetings (Twitter link).
As Day One of the 2013 winter meetings nears a close, let's round up a few updates from around the AL West....
- The Rangers will "probably not" be involved in a trade for a high-end starting pitcher, GM Jon Daniels conceded on Monday. "We’d love to have some of the guys that are out there, but there doesn’t appear to be a fit for us," Daniels said, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
- Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that the Rangers had interest in acquiring Billy Butler earlier in the offseason, but after trading for Prince Fielder, Texas is unlikely to maintain serious interest in the Royals' DH.
- Discussing the possibility of adding a right-handed bat, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik suggested that it "could very well be our main focus," according to Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune (Twitter link).
- It was a quiet Monday in Orlando for the Athletics, says Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Nonetheless, assistant GM David Forst says the A's will remain in touch with teams and agents in the hopes of improving the team. Forst also acknowledged that Oakland could use some more prospects in the upper levels of its minor league system (all Twitter links).
Though he may not be traded at this week's Winter Meetings (and may not be traded this offseason at all), Rays ace David Price figures to be one of the most popular topics of discussion over the coming days. Last week, it was reported that the Mariners could push for Price in the wake of their surprising Robinson Cano signing. We'll keep track of today's rumors surrounding Price's availability right here...
- The Mariners believe that they could land Price if they were willing to include Taijuan Walker in their offer, says Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter links). However, the M's have no interest in including either Walker or James Paxton, and believe they made a mistake by including Walker in their bid for Justin Upton nearly a year ago. Seattle would prefer to build an offer for Price around position players, according to Heyman.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post is hearing the same sort of rumblings as Stark (linked below). D-Backs GM Kevin Towers and another exec told Sherman that the Rays have yet to push Price onto the market, and that their plan may involve waiting for teams to miss out on their first or second options, then capitalizing.
- Teams that have inquired on Price get the impression that the Rays aren't in any rush to make a deal, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com. One rival executive believes GM Andrew Friedman will move deliberately in an attempt to get the price as high as possible, then perhaps pull back and waiting for interested teams to get even more desperate.
- Rays manager Joe Maddon believes it's "probably less likely" that the team would wait until next season to move Price, as Stark writes in a separate ESPN.com piece.
- The Mariners, Rangers and Dodgers are the three most serious suitors for Price at this time, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
- The Dodgers and Rays may be matching up on a Price trade, tweets Bruce Levine of WSCR.
- The Dodgers have made their interest in Price known to the Rays, reports Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. However, Hernandez feels that Price is a "long shot" to end up in Dodger Blue. For one, the Dodgers lack the type of impact, MLB-ready prospects the Rays will covet, as their top chips are teenagers Corey Seager and Julio Urias. Beyond that, dealing names like Seager and Urias would go against their desire to rebuild what has become a depleted farm system.
6:52pm: The Diamondbacks are in the hunt for Choo, according to Rosenthal (Twitter link). As we heard earlier, Arizona is also very much in the mix for Mark Trumbo, so as Rosenthal notes, it appears the club has several options, including trying to sign Choo and trade for a pitcher, or acquiring Trumbo and signing a free agent pitcher.
Rosenthal adds in a second tweet that Texas and Arizona aren't necessarily the only two teams in on Choo. Other clubs are likely involved as well.
6:06pm: Talks for free agent outfielder Shin-Soo Choo appear to be reaching a critical stage, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Rosenthal reports that the Rangers and at least one other team are in the mix for one of the top free agents left on the market.
Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports (via Twitter) that, after meeting with Nelson Cruz earlier today, Texas still has a meeting lined up with Choo. The Mariners, Tigers, and Reds are among the other clubs who have been linked to Choo during the offseason.
The Rangers, Blue Jays, and an unknown third team agreed on a trade about two weeks ago that would have sent Sergio Santos to Texas, reports Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. However, according to the FOX duo, the agreement fell through when another player involved in the swap failed his physical (Twitter links).
It's not clear if Texas and Toronto will attempt to revisit the deal in another form, but as Morosi notes (via Twitter), the news suggests that the Rangers are still looking to bolster their bullpen. The Jays, on the other hand, seem very open to using their crop of relievers as trade bait to improve in other areas.
Santos, 30, has missed a good chunk of the last two season with injuries, but was excellent when he was healthy this past season, recording a 1.75 ERA and 9.8 K/9 in 29 appearances.
Nelson Cruz is one of the top power bats remaining on the market. Here are Monday's rumors pertaining to the longtime Ranger...
- The Rangers' comfort level with Cruz has been a two-year deal to this point, according Olney (on Twitter). However, Cruz wants a three-year pact from the Rangers.
- The Rangers met with Cruz's agents today, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney, who adds that a second meeting could take place tonight. The Rangers want Cruz back in Texas, Olney adds.
- The Orioles met with Cruz's agents at the Wasserman Media Group today, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). According to Rosenthal, the Rangers and Mariners also remain as possibilities for Cruz.