Outfielder Nicholas Castellanos has another suitor, as Texas has “checked in on” the slugging outfielder, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets. While upgrading at third base has been a focus for the Rangers, general manager Jon Daniels indicated they could make a splash elsewhere, per Grant. Signing Castellanos, who’s in line for a lucrative multiyear contract, would qualify. Adding him could also make it even more likely the Rangers move on from Nomar Mazara, who might be part of a trade as early as this week’s Winter Meetings.
Meanwhile, it’s becoming more likely the Rangers will not keep outfielder/designated hitter Hunter Pence in the fold, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reports. After signing a minor league contract last offseason, Pence enjoyed an improbable bounce-back campaign, even earning an All-Star nod, but it seems the soon-to-be 37-year-old will have to play elsewhere if he keeps his career going in 2020.
Here’s more from the game’s West divisions…
- The Diamondbacks reportedly have interest in free-agent left-hander Madison Bumgarner, but it appears they’ll have to step it up if they’re going to reel in the longtime division rival. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Diamondbacks did make Bumgarner an offer “at some point,” but it was “light.” The 30-year-old seems to have his sights set on becoming the majors’ latest $100MM-plus pitcher, though it remains to be seen whether that’s realistic on his part.
- The Angels appear poised to break the bank, evidenced by their interest in the likes of Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson, but they won’t necessarily limit their spending to one big-time performer. Rather, the club has the ability to fit in “multiple” new players who earn $20MM or more, general manager Billy Eppler declared (via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register). In terms of adding payroll, the Angels helped their cause Tuesday when they got infielder Zack Cozart’s $12MM-plus salary off the books in a trade with San Francisco.
- While payroll looks to be an issue for the Astros, they’re nonetheless hoping to address some needs of their own. President of baseball ops/GM Jeff Luhnow old Jake Kaplan of The Athletic and other reporters Tuesday that the reigning AL champions are seeking a catcher, a starter and one or more relievers. “I think the catching has been our top pursuit. But it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the first one to get completed,” Luhnow said. The Astros’ top backstop from 2019, Robinson Chirinos, is currently among their free agents.
- The Giants have interviewed Rachel Balkovec, the Yankees’ minor league roving hitting instructor, for a spot on their major league staff, per Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. However, it doesn’t look as if the Giants will hire Balkovec, Baggarly adds. The interview itself appears to be historic, though, as Baggarly notes it’s “believed” Balkovec is the first woman to discuss a uniformed role with a major league team.