Rangers Winter Meetings Recap: Day Two
Day two of the Winter Meetings was filled with plenty of news and ended up with an inevitable trade.
Oh, and a record contract. Just not from the Rangers.
It looks like the Rangers are at least keeping their options open at catcher. They were tied to two different catchers, one of which is very familiar.
A reunion with Robinson Chirinos is very interesting for the Rangers. While his work behind the plate would only be a slight improvement, his offensive output would be a huge upgrade for Texas.
Adding Jason Castro would be a much larger upgrade behind the plate, but he is coming off a bit of a down year defensively. While his fielding percentage was as high as possible without being perfect (.999), his -7 DRS was his worst since 2012.
Castro would be cheaper than Chirinos, so the Rangers need to take that into account while they are still chasing a particular third baseman.
The Latest on Anthony Rendon
The Rangers still remain one of the favorites to land Anthony Rendon.
Of course, they have other rival suitors for the services of the best position player on the market. The Nationals, Braves, Phillies, and Dodgers had all been tied to Rendon going into day two of the Winter Meetings. On Tuesday, another suitor was revealed.
A couple of other moves that happened on Tuesday have an effect on how much any of those other suitors are in on Rendon. The Phillies signed Didi Gregorious to a one-year, $14 million deal. The signing seems to take the Phillies out of the running for Rendon now that their infield is set.
The Braves also seem to be moving on from Rendon. Jon Heyman reported that they've tested the waters on Rendon and they are "a tad deep."
The Nationals, Rendon's incumbent team, seem to be moving on as well.
Late Tuesday night, the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole to a record nine-year, $324 million contract. The Angels and Dodgers were also heavily in on Cole, and now that he's off the board, they may shift their focus to Rendon.
Many experts in the media believe both teams will stay competitive in the Rendon market, but may shift their focus to starting pitching as well. The Dodgers have already been linked to Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
At the moment, it seems like the favorites to land Rendon are the Rangers, Dodgers, and Angels. On paper, the Rangers do make the most sense, but it wouldn't be the first time for either L.A. team to spend big on a free agent.
The Inevitable Trade
The Rangers spent most of the day talking with teams, including the White Sox and Marlins, about a potential trade for Texas right-fielder Nomar Mazara.
Shortly after the news broke of the Gerrit Cole signing, the Rangers made a trade with the White Sox for Mazara.
The Rangers have been trying to clear the log jam at the corner outfield spots and they finally were able to do it. This clears the way for regular at-bats for Willie Calhoun as an every day player.
Steele Walker was the number six prospect in the White Sox system, and is now the Rangers' number 12 prospect.
It's unfortunate to see Mazara go, but the Rangers made the right decision. Mazara has tons of potential, but has struggled to be more than a one-win player in four seasons.
Day Three Preview
Of course, the main focus of the day for Rangers fans will be Anthony Rendon.
It's unclear that Rendon signs before the meetings adjourn on Thursday. With the way these meetings have gone, it's not out of the realm of possibility. With two of Scott Boras' big clients off the board, it's possible Rendon may be the next to go.
It's also notable to watch what the Rangers may do in the catching market. They've been tied to the two catchers we mentioned earlier, so something may progress there.
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