After the Los Angeles Angels back-to-back big-time moves last week, the baseball community turned its attention to the two-time reigning American League Pennant winners. What would the Texas Rangers do? According to Ken Rosenthol of Fox Sports, those expecting a Rangers counter-punch to the Angels high-profile moves will likely be disappointed. While Rosenthol doesn’t believe the Rangers will get in on the bidding for front-line free agents Prince Fielder and Yu Darvish, he does hear that they are searching the trade market for starting pitching.
Rosenthol hears that the Rangers payroll flexibility “is not as significant as many in the industry previously believed”. This means that the Rangers will likely not be able to spend what it will take to acquire top free agents Prince Fielder and Yu Darvish. Of course, Rosenthol adds the disclaimer “the Rangers could shift direction”, but overall he believes that Texas is more likely to explore a cost effective move for a starting pitcher.
There are several starters that are currently available on the trade market. Rosenthol hears that the Rangers will target a starter on this list that includes Matt Garza (Cubs), Gio Gonzalez (A’s) and Wade Davis (Rays).
All of these pitchers would present the Rangers with varying degrees of rotation upgrades. Garza and Gonzalez are considered front-of-the-rotation starters while Davis figures to be more of a middle guy.
The Rangers have been tied to Garza in the past, and many speculate that the A’s will trade Gonzalez this winter. After Matt Moore’s extension, the Rays have six starting pitchers and several holes to fill offensively. Davis and fellow starter Jeff Niemann may be shopped this winter.
Beyond the trio of starting pitchers Rosenthol mentions, the White Sox are rebuilding and have made John Danks and Gavin Floyd available. As usual, the Astros are dangling Wandy Rodriguez, and it’s reported that the Angels would consider moving Ervin Santana now that they’ve added C.J. Wilson to their rotation.
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