Texas Rangers out on Dickey, look to fill middle of rotation

On the day after, the Texas Rangers made what appears to be a minor move that could be the first step toward something a little more significant.

The club announced that catcher Konrad Schmidt, acquired on a waiver claim earlier this off-season, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple A Round Rock.

The transaction frees up a spot on the Rangers' 40-man roster, an opening that would be needed should they add someone on a major-league contract.

It won't be right-hander R.A. Dickey. General manager Jon Daniels said that the Rangers have bowed out of trade conversations with the New York Mets for the reigning National League Cy Young winner, and denied that they had offered prospects Mike Olt and Cody Buckel.

Daniels said on Thursday, before Josh Hamilton reached an agreement with Anaheim, that the Rangers are continuing to look at starting pitchers but aren't likely to find a top-of-the-rotation candidate.

"Our depth isn't where it was last year," Daniels said. "We're considering some other options, but it's more of a middle-of-the-rotation guy who can give us innings."

The Rangers are also seeking a utility infielder after shipping Michael Young to Philadelphia last weekend. A few veteran options who could prove intriguing are Chone Figgins and Wilson Valdez.

Figgins is coming off two terrible seasons in Seattle and also created a stir by voicing his displeasure about being a bench player. But he's a free agent after the Mariners released him last month, even though he had one year at $8 million left on his contract.

Figgins, a former All-Star, can play third base and second base, but has only 27 games at shortstop. Valdez played third, second and shortstop last season for Philadelphia and Cincinnati.

The Rangers usually prefer to sign utility candidates to minor-league deals and add them to the 40-man roster if they stick with the club out of spring training.

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JeffWilson_FWST

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