Texas Rangers

Texas Rangers looking for quality depth to spark competition

Rangers manager Jeff Banister talks with reporters at the Major League Baseball winter meetings.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister talks with reporters at the Major League Baseball winter meetings. AP

When it comes to adding depth in the outfield and behind the plate, the Texas Rangers aren’t necessarily looking for complete known quantities.

The club is admittedly not in the financial position to sign a high-dollar free agent, and in the case of left field, that isn’t even the desire with Josh Hamilton hoping to return fully healthy as the starter.

A younger, right-handed hitting outfield prospect with untapped potential is more in line with the needs.

As with their desire to add a catcher, general manager Jon Daniels hopes to create some competition in spring training.

“We feel pretty confident we’ll add additional options,” Daniels said Monday on the first day of the winter meetings at the Gaylord Resort. “I feel like we’ll be covered there. There’s no [catcher] that has gone off the board that we’ve made an offer for. We checked in on a couple guys but we never made an offer.”

Manager Jeff Banister said adding depth at the two positions is not only vital from a manpower standpoint, but adds needed competition in spring training.

“I think more than anything else, we’re looking at what we feel is projected to be quality in the sense it’s going to add to the lineup that we already have,” Banister said. “I think one of the greatest things that you can create is some form of competition. Internal competition is obviously your best option because it allows players to sharpen each other.”

Gallardo’s decision

Free agent Yovani Gallardo is still looking for another team since declining the Rangers’ $15.8 million qualifying offer last month.

His agent, Bobby Witt, said the process has been slowed with top-tier free agents such as David Price and Zack Grienke negotiating mega deals.

Other top free agents such as Johnny Cueto, who rejected a six-year, $120 million offer from the Diamondbacks, according to his agent, are likely to sign before teams are willing to come to terms with Gallardo, who grew up and still lives in the Fort Worth area.

Profar honored

Infielder Jurickson Profar was named to the Arizona Fall League top prospects team after batting .267 with 20 RBIs in 20 games for the Surprise Saguaros.

Auction items

There are several Rangers-centric items up for bid during the annual winter meetings charity auction that goes through 8 p.m. Thursday at mlb.com.

The initiative helps raise awareness and funds for cancer research. A portion of this year’s proceeds will benefit DoItForDurrett.com, which honors the late Rangers beat writer Richard Durrett.

The Rangers items include an Ultimate Rangers Experience, which includes watching batting practice, taking the lineup card to home plate with Banister and sitting in with Rangers public address announcer Chuck Morgan for an inning.

The Durrett Foundation Gameday Experience includes joining Emily Jones during her pregame interview with Banister, watching an inning with Daniels and dinner in the press box dining area.

Monday’s moves

Here’s a look at some of high profile trades, signings and rumors from around the league on Monday:

▪ Right-handed reliever Joakim Soria signed a three-year, $25 million deal with the Royals.

▪ Royals re-signed RHP Chris Young to two-year deal with a mutual option for 2018.

▪ Right-hand reliever Darren O’Day agreed to terms with the Orioles, pending a physical, according to reports.

▪ The Mariners acquired left-hander Wade Miley and right-handed reliever Jonathan Aro from the Red Sox for left-hander Roenis Elias and right-handed reliever Carson Smith.

▪ The Dodgers signed right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to a three-year, $45 million deal.

▪ Right-handed reliever Mark Lowe signed a two-year deal with the Tigers for $6.5 million per year.

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @StevensonFWST

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