As if scrutiny over letting Josh Hamilton walk as a free agent and the uncertain future of Nolan Ryan with the club weren't enough, the Texas Rangers can add trade speculation to the list of distractions that the team is facing heading into the 2013 regular season.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that unless the Rangers can reach a contract extension with Elvis Andrus before the end of the 2013 season, the team will look to trade its 24-year-old All-Star shortstop this winter.
This isn't the first time that Andrus' name has been linked to trade rumors; the Arizona Diamondbacks repeatedly asked the Rangers for either Andrus or prospect Jurickson Profar as part of a package for Justin Upton this past winter.
That goes to show just how valuable Texas believes Andrus to be—and they aren't wrong in their valuation, even if some believe the organization has overvalued him.
But with nowhere to play Profar on a regular basis and Andrus' looming free agency after the 2014 season—and that he's represented by Scott Boras—the Rangers realize that moving Andrus with a full year left on his contract will garner the team a better return than moving him at the trade deadline in 2014 would.
Players like Andrus simply don't become available often, and that being the case, we can expect nearly every team in baseball to at least have a conversation with Texas GM Jon Daniels about what it would take to make a deal.
Some of those conversations will last longer and become more serious than others.
Let's take a look at the MLB teams who will most aggressively try and acquire the speedy middle infielder.