Rangers Winter Meetings Recap: Day One

Chris Halicke

Day one of the Winter Meetings is in the books. 

The anticipation is building in the Anthony Rendon sweepstakes and an external move fanned the flame even more. Catch up with everything that happened involving the Rangers from day one of the Winter Meetings. 

Strasburg Banks with Nationals

The highlight of the day didn't come from the Rangers. It came from the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals, as they re-signed World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg to a whopping seven-year, $245 million deal. 

Initial reactions on the Rangers' side of things were positive since Washington's managing principal owner Mark Lerner stated in a report that the team could not afford to bring back both Strasburg and Rendon. That left the Rangers and the Dodgers as the favorites in the Rendon sweepstakes, with the Braves and Phillies on the fringe.

Unfortunately, that hope didn't last long. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo implied Lerner's remarks aren't necessarily true. 

“The ownership has always given us the resources to field a great team," Rizzo stated in a press conference for Strasburg's signing. "We’re always trying to win, and we’re going to continue to do so."

This surely doesn't mean the Rangers are out on Rendon, but with the Nationals still interested in re-signing him, that's still another suitor Texas has to outbid and outsell to land the 29-year-old third baseman.

Chris Woodward Addresses the Media

The Rangers are still very involved in their pursuit of Rendon and addressing third base in general. Rangers manager Chris Woodward spoke with the media on Monday night to shed some light on their need to fill third base.

"It's important. It's obviously a need for us," Woodward said. "I'd like to get that done. Obviously, I know Jon Daniels would love to get that done as well, just to kind of focus on some other things we can address. So, hopefully we do get it done soon."

Woodward also addressed the additions the Rangers have already made to their starting rotation. He spoke well of both pitchers, but his remarks regarding Jordan Lyles were very optimistic.

"Honestly, I think Jordan is scratching the surface on finding out how good he can be, and that was intriguing for me."

Chris Woodward also mentioned the log jam in the corner outfield spots.

"It's too many guys. It's an issue," Woodward said. "It does put us in a tough spot if we go into spring training with all those guys."

The overcrowded corner outfield spots on the Rangers' roster has been a topic of discussion most of the winter and how they could possibly address the situation. It sure seems more and more likely the Rangers may look to trade away a piece this winter. 

Minor League Staff Announced

The Rangers announced their Minor League staff earlier in the day on Monday.

The most notable of the names announced was a familiar face from behind home plate. Bobby Wilson was a part of the Rangers' catching tandem in 2015 and 2016. He now will manage their Double-A Frisco ball club.

Rangers Free Agent Activity

The Rangers did make a signing on the first official day of the Winter Meetings. Texas signed Joely Rodriguez to a two-year, $5.5 million contract on Monday night. The club has not confirmed yet. 

Rodriguez, a left-handed reliever, has a career record of 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in 36.2 innings in Major League Baseball. Rodriguez has been pitching for Chunichi Dragons in Japan for the past two seasons, where he's fared much better. He compiled a 1.85 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in over 92 innings in 2018 and 2019.

Day Two Preview

The Rangers are surely not done at the Winter Meetings. They are obviously still very much in the Anthony Rendon sweepstakes. Third base is still their most pressing need and they obviously want to address it, preferably quickly, but it depends on how long Rendon wants to wait and vice versa.

The comments made about the corner outfield log jam are definitely something to remember. Trade talks may escalate as a way for Texas to free up those spots while possibly adding to other needs on the roster. Speculation for quite a while is that Nomar Mazara is the most likely to be traded if Texas does indeed pull the trigger. 

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