The Rangers have already created some buzz today at the Winter Meetings, and now here’s more out of Texas…
- It is “unlikely” that the Rangers will sign a “big ticket” free agent, GM Jon Daniels told reporters (including Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News). Texas has been linked to the likes of Edwin Encarnacion, Ian Desmond, Mark Trumbo and other notable free agent names this winter, and the team has notable question marks at first base, center field and DH. If free agency isn’t as likely an option for the Rangers, they could continue to pursue trades. To that end…
- The Rangers asked the Braves about Ender Inciarte but talks “went nowhere,” Evan Grant tweets. Inciarte has drawn trade chatter ever since the Braves acquired him as part of the Shelby Miller trade with the D’Backs last offseason, but it is clear Atlanta regards the defensive standout as a building block in center field.
- Also from Grant in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link), the Rangers don’t have interest in dealing Rougned Odor or Nomar Mazara. It would’ve been rather surprising to see Texas trade either young cornerstone player, though the Rangers have been linked to some big names in trade talks (i.e. Chris Sale) that would require a major return.
- Alex Cobb’s name has been discussed between the Rays and Rangers, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports (via Twitter). The Rangers have targeted such Tampa pitchers as Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi and Drew Smyly in the past, though Cobb would theoretically come at a lower price tag. He is only under control through the 2017 season and he missed all of 2015 and most of 2016 due to Tommy John surgery.
- The Rangers are in ongoing talks with Shawn Tolleson about a reunion, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports (Twitter link), as the club wants to bring the former closer back on a minor league deal. Tolleson elected to become a free agent after a very rough 2016 season that saw him lose his closing job in Texas, spend time on the 60-day DL with a back injury and ultimately get outrighted off the Rangers’ 40-man roster. The season was a stark contrast to 2014-15, when Tolleson posted very good numbers out of the Texas bullpen.
- Similarly, the Rangers are talking to outfielder Jared Hoying about a reunion, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. Hoying, who made his big league debut last season, was non-tendered by the Rangers earlier this week.