Aug 28, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher James Shields (33) throws a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Rumor updates and possible starting rotation


The rumors are swirling as we head into the fourth and final day of the MLB Winter Meetings and there are several things up in the air.

In addition to the obvious possible Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke signings, there is a
rumor that the Rangers are in talks for a blockbuster three, four or five team deal (depending
on who you follow on Twitter) to acquire Diamondbacks OF Justin Upton in a trade involving
Arizona, Cleveland, Tampa, Kansas City and even Seattle.

Perhaps the most interesting trade rumor involves Michael Young (whoa – deja vu). It came
out Wednesday morning that the Phillies are interested in the declining star and T.R.
Sullivan implied that the Yankees might be interested, solely because they got snuffed on
deals with Eric Chavez and Jeff Keppinger on day three and Alex Rodriguez will miss four to
six weeks with his hip injury.

April 19, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Michael Young (10) walks in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, according to reports, the Rangers even asked Young, who has full “10/5″ rights,
if he would veto a trade to those organizations. There’s no report on Young’s response, but I
don’t see why he would considering the teams’ prominence and fan base, and, for the sake
of this article, we’re going to roll with that. Of course Rangers GM Jon Daniels denies the
rumors, citing that he “learned his lesson” from two years ago when they tried to shop him.

If it’s the Phillies (which seems likely at this point) you have to assume the Rangers are
thinking Cliff Lee in return. That sounds like a legitimate straight-up deal to me. Player-for-player, no third or fourth team necessary.

Alas, the most recent report that just came across my Twitter feed said that Texas is in
“advanced talks” with Philadelphia and would eat nearly half of Young’s $16 million salary
and receive a young reliever and low-level prospect in exchange. Personally, I’d prefer Lee.

If it’s the Yankees I’d assume the Rangers would mention Curtis Granderson, but that won’t
happen unless they throw in some major talent, so a more viable option would be Phil Hughes.

Still, the Rangers are reportedly in talks with the Rays about acquiring James Shields
as well. The Rays picked up a shortstop in Yunel Escobar Tuesday night, so they won’t need
Elvis Andrus, who apparently the team still refuses to give up. So, I would look for the team
to include a less expensive Derek Holland and/or a possible combination of Mike Olt and
Martin Perez to net Shields.

While nothing is guaranteed in the crazy market, there are a few players that are pretty much
safe to assume that the Rangers will have in the starting rotation on opening day:

1. Yu Darvish

2. Matt Harrison

3. Alexi Ogando

 

Here are a few that are currently up in the air:

1. Derek Holland

2. Martin Perez

3. Zack Greinke

4. James Shields

5. Cliff Lee

6. Phil Hughes

7. R.A. Dickey

 

Think about it, let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the Rangers trade for Shields and
Lee. Can you imagine a Darvish, Shields, Harrison, Lee, Ogando rotation with Colby Lewis
returning mid-season? That’s good for the best rotation in the American League. That would
give the team enough money to sign Hamilton, to boot.

Of course, this scenario is a stretch. Who knows what JD has up his sleeve for the final day
of the Winter Meetings and the rest of the offseason?

Regardless of what happens, you better bet my TV will be glued to channel 586: MLB
Network. Yours should be too.

 

Tags: Cliff Lee James Shields Josh Hamilton Justin Upton Michael Young Phil Hughes Rangers Texas Rangers Zack Greinke

  • Eric Reining

    Yeah, Cliff Lee isn’t going to happen. I also don’t see why the Rangers would have interest in Phillip Hughes, given that the Rangers probably have 3-4 guys within their system who could give the same amount of production.

    Basically, the reason we can’t do Michael Young for Cliff Lee is because the Rangers can’t afford to pay Lee $25M in 2013, 2014 and ’15, and then continue their pursuit of Greinke and/or Hamilton. That’s $75M in guaranteed money to Lee for the next three years, plus a $12.5M buyout in 2016. Way way way too much money.

    Also, Michael Young is terrible. It wouldn’t make sense for the Yankees to give up one of their more productive players (Granderson) for Young, who was statistically the worst player in the Major Leagues in 2012.

    The most recent report, per Evan Grant, is that the Rangers would get a return of some relief pitcher and a lower level minor leaguer. If that happened, I think the Rangers fan base should thank their lucky stars that some team out there was stupid enough to take on Michael Young’s declining abilities and ridiculous contractual obligation.

    • Tyler Owens

      Agreed