After missing out on landing Zack Greinke, the Rangers now cast their gaze elsewhere in their efforts to upgrade their starting rotation.
Rangers' general manager Jon Daniels explained his thinking as it pertains to the starting rotation in a conversation with MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan:
It wasn't any secret that he (Greinke) was someone that we had interest in. It's a pretty short list of starters that we're pursuing. We feel we have four guys [Matt Harrison, Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando] in our rotation that we like a lot, along with Colby Lewis hopefully coming back [from flexor tendon surgery] in the first half of the season, plus a couple of young guys [Martin Perez, Justin Grimm] that we like. We'd like to add to our starting depth and we'd like to acquire an impact guy. But we're not casting a wide net to add a starter at any cost.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman says that short list might include free agent starters Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse, while Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets that the Rangers are willing to part with Mike Olt in a deal to acquire R.A. Dickey from the Mets—though Olt alone will not cut it:
But pitching is not the only thing that Daniels and the Rangers are looking to do.
Arizona right fielder Justin Upton remains their object of desire, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal:
Rosenthal adds that Rangers almost acquired Upton at the winter meetings as part of a three-team deal with the Diamondbacks and Indians.
The key parts in the deal were Upton coming to Texas, SS Asdrubal Cabrera going to Arizona, and 3B Mike Olt and either RHP Trevor Bauer or LHP Patrick Corbin heading to Cleveland.
Why talks broke off remains to be seen.
Upton, 26, would essentially replace Josh Hamilton in the middle of the Rangers' lineup—though as Daniels told Heyman, the team has not closed the door on the Josh Hamilton era just yet:
Not satisfied with any of the team's current options behind the plate, Daniels told Heyman that he is looking for a backstop as well:
Texas has interest in free agent A.J. Pierzynski, according to Rosenthal. The free agent's left-handed bat would be a nice addition to a lineup that is predominantly right-handed.
After losing Mike Napoli to the Red Sox, Texas is left with three catchers on the 40-man roster: Geovany Soto, Luis Martinez and Konrad Schmidt, who hit a combined .179 with five home runs and 27 RBI over 173 at-bats for the Rangers in 2012.