The Rangers talked to the Pirates about acquiring right-hander Gerrit Cole, but those discussions didn’t go anywhere, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reports (Twitter link). Given that the Rangers are in need of starters even after signing Doug Fister and Mike Minor, the possibility of them turning back to old friend and top free agent Yu Darvish has come up. General manager Jon Daniels revealed Monday that the Rangers and Darvish still have a strong relationship even after they traded him away last July, Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram tweets. For his part, Darvish is interested in a reunion, agent Joel Wolfe told Wilson and other reporters (Twitter link). The potential of Texas deploying a six-man rotation doesn’t necessarily appeal to Darvish, though, despite the fact that he spoke in favor of that setup on multiple occasions in the past. “He’s one of those guys that would rather pitch on short rest than long rest,” Wolfe said.
More from the majors’ West divisions:
- The reigning World Series champion Astros at least made an effort to acquire 2017 NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag (Twitter link). The two sides never came close to a deal before the Yankees landed Stanton, however, Heyman adds. Notably, the Astros were one of four teams to whom Stanton would’ve accepted a trade. He also would’ve added another terrifying force to an all-world lineup headed by AL MVP Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa.
- Meanwhile, the Giants would’ve had Stanton had he been willing to waive his no-trade clause for them. Executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean addressed his team’s failed pursuit Monday, saying his only “angst” stems from his belief that Wolfe didn’t make it clear that the Giants and Cardinals were just fallback options for Stanton (Twitter link via Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News). While the Giants were prepared to take on $230MM of Stanton’s $295MM contract to acquire him, that doesn’t mean they’re going to go into free-spending mode now that he’s out of the mix. Rather, they’re “back to being payroll conscious,” Heyman tweets.
- Sabean also spoke on the subject of free agency and indicated that the Giants aren’t going to sign any players who rejected qualifying offers earlier this offseason. That could rule them out for rumored targets such as center fielder Lorenzo Cain and third baseman Mike Moustakas. Signing either of those players would cost the Giants not only money, but their second- and fifth-highest draft picks in 2018 and $1MM in international bonus pool money. “If you’re asking me personally, my vote would be a no, being that we wouldn’t want to get involved with somebody like that,” said Sabean, who highlighted the importance of having the second pick in every round of the next draft. GM Bobby Evans shares similar feelings, according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. While the Giants seem set to use those picks, they’re listening to offers for the No. 2 selection in this Thursday’s Rule 5 draft, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.
- The Padres “remain in constant communication” with free agent righty Jhoulys Chacin’s camp, GM A.J. Preller revealed (Twitter link via AJ Cassavell of MLB.com). A deal is not imminent, though, Cassavell adds. Chacin turned in a quality year with the Padres last season and should earn a nice contract as a result.
- Athletics executive VP Billy Beane announced after the season that they’re hoping to sign some of their best young talent to contract extensions this offseason. That remains the case, Beane told reporters. Beane added that picking up a veteran starter is a low priority for the A’s, saying they’re “not overly impressed with guys that would be available to us” (Twitter links via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle and Jane Lee of MLB.com).