PHOENIX, Ariz. — Texas Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels arrived in Phoenix Monday for the yearly GM Meetings. These meetings aren’t meant to be more than a place where the 30 clubs gather and begin discussing potential trades. It also gives agents a chance to meet with numerous clubs in a short amount of time. The GM Meetings are where the Hot Stove rumors form, but hardly any actual trades or signings occur.
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Even though the likelihood of JD dealing or signing anyone is highly improbable, there was some news reported yesterday.
The Texas Rangers have four players that are eligible for arbitration, utility infielder Adam Rosales, RHP Neftali Feliz, RHP Alexi Ogando, and DH/1B Mitch Moreland. JD only mentioned Ogando and Moreland being tendered contracts. The Texas Rangers have until December 2 to offer contracts to arbitration eligible players for the 2015, otherwise they will become free agents.
Engel Beltre (OF) became a MiLB free agent while sidelined the entire 2014 season due to a fractured tibia. It appears that Jon Daniels doesn’t expect him to sign with the Texas Rangers. I am a little relieved that the Rangers aren’t going all-in on Beltre, and will instead look for a player to fill the outfield through either a trade or free agency.
As expected, the dealing of Jurickson Profar is not likely to happen. Jeff Wilson (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) tweeted that Jon Daniels realizes Profar’s health is problematic for a trade to occur. Jurickson Profar missed the season, but is expected to be cleared in January to resume baseball activities. Which means the Texas Rangers are stuck with more infielders than they would like. The only way I see the Rangers relieving the infield congestion is if Profar performs well at Spring Training and then JD can garner a trade for him.
Finally, some good news on Yu Darvish. According to Jeff Wilson, Darvish will be back in Arlington to undergo another MRI on November 20. Darvish will also meet with the medical and training staff. And of course, meet his new manager Jeff Banister. Wilson also states that Darvish is expected to start throwing in December, per his usual offseason routine.
Jon Daniels indicated that he is expecting RHP Colby Lewis (10-14, 5.18) to sign with the Texas Rangers. Even though Lewis’ numbers may not look that great, his 2014 season is still considered a huge success. Colby Lewis has gone through many difficult surgeries and was not even expected to return to the mound. Ever. His 10 wins tie Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish for most wins this season.
Evan Grant (Dallas Morning News) said that Texas counseled catcher Robinson Chirinos to NOT play winter ball. Even though JD is looking for another catcher to split time behind the plate with Chirinos, he is still expected to the starting catcher next season. Robinson Chirinos ranked among 2014 American League leaders for Double Plays Turned as Catcher with 7 (3rd), Caught Stealing as Catcher with 29 (3rd), Caught Stealing Percentage at 39.7% (2nd), and Total Zone Runs as Catcher with 10 (3rd). So, it makes perfect sense that after dealing Geovany Soto to the Oakland Athletics that the Texas Rangers would ask Chirinos not to play winter ball. No sense in risking your #1 catcher’s health. Especially after the 2014 season!
With just this news coming from Jon Daniels’ arrival, I can’t wait to see what the next few days will bring. The GM Meetings wrap up on Thursday morning. Giving us plenty of time between then and the start of the Winter Meetings to predict, speculate, and breakdown the trade rumors. Can’t wait for next season!