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.
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.
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
3. Alexi Ogando
Here are a few that are currently up in the air:
2. Martin Perez
3. Zack Greinke
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.