Texas Rangers Offseason Tracker: Latest Trade Rumors, Free Agency News
A number of big decision will be need to be made by the Texas Rangers front office this winter. The team has two of the top free agents on the markets in Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli and they also have some of the top trade chips in Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar.
Texas has reached the World Series in two of the past three seasons and with the right moves this winter they could find themselves back in baseball's biggest spotlight again in 2013.
General Manager Jon Daniels will have to look at a number of different scenarios for filling out the Rangers 2013 roster.
This provides all of the most recent news surround the Rangers trade rumors and free agency rumors. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back as it will continually be updated with new information.
Could R.A. Dickey Land in Texas?
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According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Texas Rangers have an interest in acquiring R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets this winter. The asking price for Dickey is high, so a deal could end up costing the Rangers either Mike Olt or Martin Perez.
Dickey was drafted by the Rangers, so it would be interesting to see him back in the organization. While Dickey would be a good fit for the Rangers, the cost may prevent Texas from seriously considering a deal.
No Change with Josh Hamilton
While Josh Hamilton is one of the biggest prizes on the free agent market this winter, the Texas Rangers have not been overly aggressive in pursuing him. That does not mean that the team is not looking to bring him back.
Rangers GM John Daniels has noted that the Rangers are still interested in Hamilton, but that not much has changed since the free agency period began (h/t T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com). With other outfielders beginning to come off the market, it is possible that there will soon be some traction in the talks between Hamilton and the Rangers.
Texas Is Still Gunning for Zack Greinke
With all of the teams expressing interest in Zack Greinke, he will certainly be getting a big deal this winter. Texas is looking for an ace and Greinke is the only player on the market that fits that description.
According to Rangers GM John Daniels, the Rangers are keeping a close eye on Greinke (h/t T.R Sullivan of MLB.com). If the Rangers can sign Greinke, they could find themselves playing for a World Series title for the third time in four years.
Russell Martin May Be an Option at Catcher
The Texas Rangers are going to need to find a catcher this offseason and that search may lead them to Russell Martin according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
Martin might not be the best fit for the Rangers. He has power, but he doesn't hit for a high average. This is reminiscent of Chris Davis and his tenure in Texas did not last too long.
There are better options on the free agent and trade market that the Rangers should go after if they need a catcher.
Torii Hunter Could Join the Rangers
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Signing Hunter would almost certainly signal that Josh Hamiltion is on the way out.
It appears as if the Rangers are gearing up for life without Hamilton. Hunter is just one of the many options that they are considering. While he will not replace all of Hamilton's offense, the Rangers could pick up a power hitting catcher as well to make up for the lost production.
Could Nick Swisher Replace Josh Hamilton?
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One of the most popular outfielder on the free agent market this winter will be Nick Swisher. His consistency over the past four years has made him very valuable. From 2009 on, Swisher has hit at least 20 home runs a year while also driving in at least 80.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has identified the Texas Rangers as one of many teams that may have interest in him this year.
Signing Swisher would signal the end of Josh Hamilton's tenure in Texas. Swisher is a much cheaper option that would be able to act as a consistent run producer for the Rangers.
Texas Trying to Pick Up a Shortstop to Flip
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In their efforts to try to acquire Andrelton Simmons, the Rangers offered Mike Olt to the Braves, but Atlanta turned it down according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
This was certainly an interesting decision by the Braves as Olt could have been a long term replacement for Chipper Jones.
Texas may continue to push hard to make a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks for Justin Upton. There are not many other shortstops that they could go after that they could swing to the Diamondbacks in a deal and that may mean that they need to give up one of Andrus or Profar.
One name that would make a lot of sense in a deal for Simmons would be Mike Olt. The Braves need a third baseman to replace Chipper Jones and Olt could be a perennial All-Star just as Jones was.
Making such a move would mean that that the Rangers were going all in for Upton. They would then flip Simmons to the Diamondbacks in order to bring back the talented outfielder.
Justin Upton for a Rangers Shortstop?
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Update 11/11: While the Diamondbacks may want a shortstop for Upton, they may not be able to get one. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has noted that the Rangers are standing firm on their stance that they do not want to trade Andrus or Profar this winter.
Justin Upton will be one of the hottest names on the trade market this season. The Arizona Diamondbacks' outfielder has already posted two 20/20 seasons during his career and he has yet to reach the age of 26.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today has reported that Arizona Diamondbacks are seeking a starting shortstop in return for Upton. Texas has two players that fit that description in Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus.
According to Joel Sherman of The New York Post, it is more likely that the Rangers deal Andrus than Profar.
Upton would be a great replacement if the Rangers are not able to retain Josh Hamilton. He should thrive while playing at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. If the Rangers are able to pull off a one-for-one trade involving Andrus and Upton, then pulling the trigger on it would make them a better team and fill one of their bigger holes.
Will Josh Hamilton Return?
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The fate of Josh Hamilton will likely have a massive impact on the Texas Rangers' offseason. If Hamilton returns, then the Rangers will not have to be as aggressive in their offseason spending, but if they lose him, then they will have an MVP caliber bat that they will need to find a way to replace.
Hamilton has reportedly set his asking price at seven years and $175 million (h/t The Dallas Morning News). Chances are that the Rangers will not be bringing Hamilton back at that price.
Texas will certainly work to find a reasonable contract value with him, but with interest building and teams like the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners entering the fray, Hamilton's price may stay high (h/t Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports).
The Rangers will want to quickly resolve this situation so that they do not miss out on any other free agents this winter.
Could Adam LaRoche Join the Rangers?
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Adam LaRoche put up one of the best seasons of his career in 2012 and was able to make up for his injury plagued 2011 season. After batting .271 with 33 home runs and 100 RBI in addition to picking up the National League Gold Glove award at first base, it is no surprise that LaRoche will be a valuable commodity this winter.
Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports notes that the Texas rangers are looking at LaRoche as a possible replacement for Josh Hamilton in the middle of the order. Signing LaRoche could also mean that Mike Napoli will not be back in Texas since he would spend a majority of his time between first base and DH.
Texas could decide to bring Napoli back full-time as a catcher, but he has never played more than 96 game in a season at the position in a year. Given his asking price, Napoli would need to play everyday.
Can the Rangers Land Zack Greinke?
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Update 11/9: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports has confirmed that the Rangers will be going after Greinke this winter. He has also hinted that this decision could mean that the team is not planning on bringing back Josh Hamilton.
Even though Matt Harrison and Yu Darvish put up solid numbers in 2012, the Texas Rangers pitching staff lacks a true ace. They have the opportunity to pick one up this winter.
Zack Greinke is the top starter on the market and he has the ability to take the Rangers starting rotation to the next level. He will not come cheap however. Greinke's demands are said to be six years and $150 million according to John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus.
The high asking price should not deter the Rangers who have been very interested in Greinke according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
With Greinke stepping to the mound every fifth day, the Rangers would not only take a top player away from their biggest rivals in the American League West, but they would also have a shutdown starter that can pick up a big win when needed.
Will J.P. Arencibia Be the Rangers Opening Day Catcher?
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The Texas Rangers are in the market for a starting catcher now that Mike Napoli is a free agent. While there are some good options on the free agency market such as A.J. Pierzynski, there seems to be some indication that the Rangers will turn to the trade market instead.
Last season, Arencibia hit 18 home runs and drove in 56 in 104 games. He is also not slated to become a free agent until after the 2016 season.
The Toronto Blue Jays have Travis D'Arnaud waiting in the wings and all they need is a spot for him. By moving Arencibia, they can give D'Arnaud the starting catching job and pick up a prospect along the way.
Considering this move makes sense for both teams, it is one rumor that should stick around the Rangers until the have solved their catching situation.