A few rumblings out of Arlington, courtesy of Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News:
- Over the past month, the Rangers have lost starting third baseman Adrian Beltre to retirement and traded the legend’s potential successor, Jurickson Profar, to the Athletics. While the Rangers have acquired third base possibilities in Patrick Wisdom and Nolan Fontana during the same span, neither is an established major leaguer. Further, neither power-hitting corner infielder/outfielder Joey Gallo nor catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa will line up at third, general manager Jon Daniels suggested Friday. As such, the rebuilding club plans to add infield help prior to next season, reports Grant, who lists free agents Matt Davidson and Yangervis Solarte as potential options. Texas has shown interest in Davidson since the White Sox non-tendered him last month, according to Grant, but it seems the connection to Solarte is more speculative in nature. Texas is already familiar with Solarte – whom the Blue Jays non-tendered this offseason – as the team signed him to a minor league contract in 2011. Solarte went on to play the 2012 and ’13 seasons with the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate, though he never cracked their major league lineup.
- The Rangers did approach Profar’s camp regarding a contract extension at some point, per Grant, who adds that talks “went nowhere.” The Rangers’ choice to not recall Profar from the minors when rosters expanded in September 2017 may have hurt their chances to keep him for the long haul, Grant observes. The decision gained the Rangers another year of control over Profar, but it likely didn’t sit well with agent Scott Boras.
- The Rangers are in farm-building mode, which figures to make left-hander Mike Minor the next veteran to depart via trade, Grant writes. It seems the plan is to deal Minor for prospects and then replace him with a similarly priced free agent – one the Rangers may be able to flip elsewhere during the season in order to acquire more youth. Minor, set to turn 31 on Dec. 26, has drawn reported interest from the Phillies, Brewers and Mets this winter. He gave the Rangers respectable production in 2018, his first season as a starter since 2014, and has a reasonable $19MM left on the final two years of his deal.