5:15PM: The Rangers’ calls about Arenado are more “due diligence” for now, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports (Twitter link), though Texas is legitimately interested in the third baseman.
4:21PM: The Rangers missed out on Anthony Rendon, and reportedly have stepped back from the race to sign Josh Donaldson. However, Texas is still on the lookout for a big-ticket addition at third base, and the club has been in talks with the Rockies about Nolan Arenado, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription required).
Texas isn’t the only interested party, as the Rockies have spoken to multiple teams about Arenado’s services. While the Cardinals and Dodgers aren’t specifically cited as two of those other clubs, Rosenthal notes that St. Louis and Los Angeles each “have a longstanding interest in Arenado,” though the Dodgers are doubtful that Arenado would be sent to one of Colorado’s division rivals.
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has unofficially confirmed that he has been listening to offers for Arenado, though of course, that is markedly different from actively exploring trades of the franchise player. As Rosenthal observes, “many in the industry are skeptical it [an Arenado trade] will happen this offseason” due to several complicating elements — Arenado has a full no-trade clause, he is owed $234MM over through the 2026 season, and Arenado has the right to opt out of that deal following the 2021 campaign.
It doesn’t make for a long list of teams that could potentially fit as a trade partner, especially since “Arenado effectively controls the process” via his no-trade clause. It can’t hurt for Bridich to listen to offers for the sake of due diligence, especially since the third base market will shift again once Donaldson comes off the board.
In the Rangers’ case, much of their offseason work has been focused on upgrading their pitching staff, adding Corey Kluber, Kyle Gibson, and Jordan Lyles to join incumbents Mike Minor and Lance Lynn. More work still needs to be done on the position player side, however, and Texas has created some room by moving Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields from its crowded outfield mix. If the Rangers are indeed no longer pursuing Donaldson, it stands to reason that they could be looking for a lower-key solution at third base (an in-house option like Nick Solak or a stopgap free agent) and instead be looking to spend on another outfield bat. Nicholas Castellanos is reportedly been on the Rangers’ list of targets, and the team also had interest in Marcell Ozuna earlier in the offseason.