Texas Rangers Mailbag: Winter Meetings Edition
The Winter Meetings are underway in San Diego, California. The Rangers have their needs and could possibly finalize some deals this week to help improve their roster.
Rangers fans are very curious where the team can go from here. Several of you asked your questions and here are some answers to help you get ready for the events of the week.
The Rangers are definitely in on Anthony Rendon. There's no smoke and mirrors. They want Rendon and they've already met with him and his agent Scott Boras. They've got too many holes on their roster to play around and third base is their top priority. They've got money to spend and are willing to spend it on Rendon.
There's still no word on an actual offer being made yet or what it may look like, but it's a foregone conclusion that Texas submits an offer sometime this week. It's looking like Rendon and Boras are seeking a seven-year deal, so we'll see if Texas is willing to go that far this week.
I wouldn't expect any offers made to the top of the market. If the Rangers land Rendon, it will take a substantial financial commitment. So, any money left over may be allocated to another end-of-the-rotation starter like a Tanner Roark or Julio Teheran.
Texas has already signed two pitchers that are very capable to pitch quality innings at the back end of the Rangers' rotation. Starting pitching, while not impossible, would unlikely see more money invested in it.
If they do end up signing a higher-profile starting pitcher, you may see Mike Minor be offered to teams in a trade. He's in the last year of his deal and would likely bring back a good return.
It's unlikely. The Rangers are reportedly in on Gerrit Cole, but far behind the Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers in the bidding for him. They may only ramp up their pursuit of him if they miss on Rendon and Josh Donaldson. There's no word they are in on Stephen Strasburg, and he has his suitors with deep pockets as well.
Trading for Miguel Andujar is not out of the realm of possibility though. If the Rangers miss on Rendon and Donaldson, this may be their plan C. He's only 24 years old and can hit, but his defense needs drastic improvement.
The Red Sox are looking to offload payroll, but Mookie Betts is far down the list of players they are looking to ship out.
Even if the Red Sox put Betts on the trading block, the Rangers do not have the resources to outbid other ball clubs. With what it would cost in prospects to trade for a player like Betts, it would undo all the work the Rangers have done the past three seasons to rebuild the farm system.
What they acquire in a trade is difficult to forecast. They won't get a major league player for Choo. Trading Choo would purely be to dump salary and free up at-bats for the other three guys.
Mazara's value is as low as it's ever been and may not bring that high of a return. If they packaged Mazara with a couple top prospects, maybe they could bring in someone who can contribute at the major league level.
In terms of acquiring an offensive catcher, the Rangers would surely prefer to spend money to get one than trade prospects to acquire one. One of the better offensive catchers in baseball happens to be on the market this winter: Robinson Chirinos.
Obviously, if they land Rendon, it's a huge success.
If they miss out on Rendon and Donaldson, but walk away with Miguel Andujar or Todd Frazier at third base and upgrade another spot on the roster, that's not a bad thing either.
If the Winter Meetings come and go and Rendon is still on the market, then the Winter Meetings aren't necessarily a failure. Sometimes the Meetings are more for laying groundwork for potential deals and getting closer to or getting further away from potential targets.
With what Texas has done already to upgrade their rotation by signing Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles, they've done a good job of protecting themselves from getting burned if they hold out for Rendon and Donaldson and miss out on both.
They can still find different ways to upgrade third base while the rotation has pretty much been taken care of. Because of this, a lot would have to go very wrong in order for the Winter Meetings to be considered a failure.
If I were a betting man, I'd say yes. I think they'll know whether or not they will get Rendon before the meetings adjourn. If they miss on Rendon, I expect them to turn to their other options very quickly and act fast.
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