Texas Rangers focus on Greinke, Hamilton at winter meetings

Posted Saturday, Dec. 01, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

So far this off-season, the Texas Rangers have acquired a catcher and three relievers.

But Konrad Schmidt, Tommy Hottovy, Jake Brigham and Cory Burns aren't exactly the kind of players who will carry the Rangers back to the top of the American League West in 2013.

Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke and Mike Napoli are more likely to do that. Those three are on the Rangers' radar, and have been since free agency opened when the World Series ended in late October.

Though there are no guarantees that they will be with the Rangers when spring training starts in February, they will be prominently featured this week in Jon Daniels' war room at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville at the annual winter meetings.

If these meetings are anything like the 2011 edition in Dallas, business is about to pick up.

"I think things take a little while to develop," Daniels, the Rangers' general manager, said. "That's the nature of the business. I can't put my finger on why. My expectation is the next 10 days to two weeks we'll see considerably more business done."

The Rangers have gone through multiple scenarios, including one in which they re-sign Hamilton and add Greinke. They are the top two free agents this off-season, and each could fetch a contract worth $25 million a year.

Another possibility is that the Rangers try to woo Hamilton with a higher annual average salary over a shorter term than the best offer he receives elsewhere.

Greinke could land the richest deal ever for a starting pitcher, and the Rangers believe their top competition will come from the two teams in Los Angeles, the Dodgers and the Angels.

But a catcher and relief help remain top priorities for the Rangers. The Rangers are now in the market for two catchers after making Geovany Soto a free agent Friday night by not tendering him a contract for 2013.

The catching market had its first movement Thursday as Russell Martin signed a two-year, $17 million contract with Pittsburgh. Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski are the top remaining free agents.

Napoli, who met with the Rangers on Wednesday, is seeking a four-year contract, as was Martin.

"It's a little bit a game of musical chairs," Daniels said of the catching market. "There's limited supply this year, and we're still looking at our options there."

Daniels has traditionally been hesitant to give relievers multiyear contracts, though he yielded last year as Joe Nathan landed a two-year contract.

With Mike Adams and Koji Uehara free agents and Alexi Ogando in the starting rotation, the Rangers have three key late-inning arms to replace.

Daniels might have to bend again. Then again, he believes the players they have now are capable enough to compete next season.

But the roster is a work in progress, and the 2013 Rangers could start to take shape this week at the winter meetings.

"We've looked at a variety of different things to improve the club," Daniels said. "Some of them are relatively minor. Some of them involve giving some of our young guys a chance. Some of them are bigger moves.

"We're not looking to turn it over. We've got a good club. We've got a good core. We like our team. We also have some opportunities to upgrade, and we're trying to do that."

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Tampa Bay0Final | Box
Baltimore «3
Pittsburgh0Final | Box
Cincinnati «4
Chicago Cubs0Final | Box
NY Yankees «3
St. Louis1Final | Box
Milwaukee «5
NY Mets «5Final | Box
Arizona2
Chicago Cubs0Bottom 1st | Box
NY Yankees0@theBallpark | TV: MLB Network, WGN, My9
Atlanta0Bottom 1st | Box
Philadelphia0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-S, TCN-PHI
Cleveland1Top 1st | Box
Detroit0@theBallpark | TV: MLB N, STO, FSN-DET+
Washington0Bottom 1st | Box
Miami0@theBallpark | TV: MASN, FSN-FL
Seattle 4/16 8:05 PM ET
Texas TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-SW
Boston 4/16 8:10 PM ET
Chicago WSox TV: NESN, WCIU
Kansas City 4/16 8:10 PM ET
Houston TV: FSN-KC, CSN-HOU
Toronto0Postponed | Box
Minnesota0
Oakland 4/16 10:05 PM ET
LA Angels TV: CSN-CA, FSN-W
Colorado 4/16 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-SD
Los Angeles 4/16 10:15 PM ET
San Francisco TV: SNLA, NBC Bay Area
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Chicago141st Qtr 6:14 | Box
Charlotte10TV: CSN-CHI, SportSouth
Indiana41st Qtr 8:02 | Box
Orlando8TV: FSN-IN, FSN-FL
Washington 4/16 8:00 PM ET
Boston TV: CSN-DC, CSN-NE
Brooklyn 4/16 8:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: YES, FSN-OH
Dallas 4/16 8:00 PM ET
Memphis TV: FSN-SW, SportSouth, ESPN
Philadelphia 4/16 8:00 PM ET
Miami TV: CSN-PHI, SunSports
Atlanta 4/16 8:00 PM ET
Milwaukee TV: SportSouth, FSN-WIS
Utah 4/16 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-N
Houston 4/16 8:00 PM ET
New Orleans TV: CSN-HOU, FSN-NO
Toronto 4/16 8:00 PM ET
New York TV: Sportsnet 360, MSG
Detroit 4/16 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: FSN-DET, FSN-OK
LA Lakers 4/16 8:00 PM ET
San Antonio TV: TWC SN, FSN-SW
Golden State 4/16 10:30 PM ET
Denver TV: ESPN, CSN-BA+, Altitude
LA Clippers 4/16 10:30 PM ET
Portland TV: FSN-PT, KGW
Phoenix 4/16 10:30 PM ET
Sacramento TV: FSN-AZ, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard
Full Scoreboard
No games this week
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, April 16Full Scoreboard
Montreal01st Prd 15:21 | Box
Tampa Bay0TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS, SunSports
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Columbus 4/16 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: NBCSN, CBC, FS-OH, ROOT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/16 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim TV: NBCSN, TSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard