Rangers general manager Jon Daniels met with the DFW media tonight. Among the topics…
1. He has met with agent Adam Katz about Nelson Cruz. Discussions are on-going. There are no plans to meet again but Daniels expects they will continue to talk.
2. Rangers are not looking for a closer and feel good about their candidates to fill the role: Neftali Feliz, Tanner Scheppers and Joakim Soria
3. Daniels said the Rangers haven’t spent much time looking for pitching
4. Rangers could be in the market for a right-handed hitting complement to Mitch Moreland at designated hitter.
5. The Rangers had interest in Roy Halladay before he decided to retire.
The Rangers may have other tricks up their sleeves but right now at the Winter Meetings they appear focused on free agent outfielders Nelson Cruz and Shinn-Soo Choo. The Rangers are here looking for more offensive help and those two are prime targets although the Rangers are concerned about the price.
Choo is represented by Scott Boras, who just negotiated a seven-year, $153 million contract for Jacoby Ellsbury with the Yankees. That’s a good indicator of what Boras will be looking for with Choo.
The Rangers are expected to meet with Boras and Adam Katz, who represents Cruz, during their time here in Disney World.
Rangers infield prospect Joey Gallo is spending his winter working out with Jason Giambi and Troy Tulowitzke. All three live in Las Vegas. Giambi is working closely with Gallo on his hitting and Tulowitzki is helping him with his defense. Gallo is a 6-foot-5 third baseman and his goal is to stay at that position even though there has been speculation he might be better at first base or right field because of his strong.
Gallo is at the Winter Meetings because he was honored as the Top Home Run hitter in the Minor Leagues last season.
The Winter Meetings are off to a crawl here at the Swan and Dolphin as the Rangers continue their pursuit of more offense. At one point this off-season they asked about Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Word is Bautista is staying in Toronto but the Rangers are still looking to see what is out there. The only way the Blue Jays would trade Bautista is if they got a proven starter like Derek Holland.
Nelson Cruz is still out there as a free agent and his agent Adam Katz is here at the Winter Meetings but said he wasn’t ready to talk about his client’s situation. Scott Boras hasn’t been sighted yet but he’ll be here ready to convince teams – including the Rangers – about the wisdom of signing Shin-Soo Choo. There are reports that the Phillies are shopping outfielder Dominic Brown and looking for young pitching in return.
Clubs are asking the Rangers about their pitching, their young middle infielders and first baseman Mitch Moreland. The Rays and Pirates came here looking for a first baseman.
Obviously the one player being talked about most is Rays pitcher David Price. People still expect the Rays to trade him and the Rangers remain one of the teams that could get involved in serious discussions with them.
The Rangers are reportedly going to sign catcher JP Arencibia to a one year contract of $2 million.
Arencibia played with the Blue Jays for the last 4 seasons, and will be the back up to Geovanny Soto. Texas tried to sign Arencibia last week before the non-tender deadline, but could not work out a contract. The Rangers were interested in Kurt Suzuki, but he is apparently looking for a position as a full time catcher.
More on the website later (when the power comes back on!)
The Texas Rangers announced today that the club signed three free agents, right-handed pitchers Jose Contreras and Nate Adcock and outfielder Bryan Petersen to 2014 minor league contracts with non-roster invitations to major league spring training.
Contreras, who turns 42 tomorrow, spent last season with the Pittsburgh and Red Sox organizations. His only major league action in 2013 came with the Pirates in May, when he permitted 5 runs over 5.0 innings in 7 relief outings. He was also 2-3 with a 3.00 ERA (11 ER/33.0 IP) over 27 relief appearances in the minors last season, pitching for Bradenton (High-A), Altoona (AA), Indianapolis (AAA), and Pawtucket (AAA). Contreras had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow on June 20, 2012 and spent spring training rehabbing from the surgery.
The Cuba native has a 78-67 career record with a 4.57 ERA (595 ER/1173.0 IP) over 299 games/175 starts with New York-AL (2003-04), Chicago-AL (2004-09), Colorado (2009), Philadelphia (2010-12), and Pittsburgh (2013). He was a member of the White Sox’ 2005 World Championship club and was an All-Star with Chicago in 2006, when scheduled to start the game in Pittsburgh but was scratched after starting two days earlier. If he appears for the Rangers next season, Contreras would be second to only Nolan Ryan among oldest players in club history.
Adcock, 25, split last season in the Kansas City and Arizona organizations, going a combined 8-6 with a 6.67 ERA (84 ER/113.1 IP) in 26 games/19 starts for Omaha and Reno in the Pacific Coast League. His only major league action came with the Royals in 2011-12, when he was 1-4 with a 3.79 ERA (40 ER/95.0 IP) in 36 games/5 starts. Adcock was originally selected by Seattle in the 2006 June draft and signed by new Rangers amateur crosschecker Brian Williams.
Petersen, 27, batted .275 (139-506) with 33 doubles, 8 home runs, and 49 RBI in 136 games with New Orleans (AAA) in the Miami Marlins organization last season. He has spent had entire professional career in the Miami organization after the Marlins selected him in the fourth round of the 2007 June draft. Petersen made his major league debut in 2010 and appeared with the Marlins in each of the next three seasons, including a career-high 84 games in 2012. The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower has compiled a .220 (103-469) average with 22 doubles, 2 home runs, and 29 RBI over 181 games at the major league level.
With today’s transactions, the Rangers now have 7 non-roster invitees to major league spring training for 2014.