Possible Texas Rangers trade targets as winter meetings begin

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Sep 30, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Charlie Morton (50) delivers a pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie Morton – Starting Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates

There is a natural connection between the Rangers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The manager of each team used to be an assistant coach for the other organization meaning that the Pirates’ skipper Clint Hurdle (former Texas hitting coach) and the 2015 American League Manager of the Year, Texas’ Jeff Banister (former Pittsburgh bench coach) are familiar with the other club’s roster.

It is no secret that Hurdle has long desired to have Texas’ first baseman Mitch Moreland on his team. Now, Texas seems intent on dealing Moreland and Pittsburgh looks to be the most logical option.

Coming off a career season, Moreland will be a free agent next winter and Texas would like to balance its lineup by adding more right-handed power at first base.

Charlie Morton could be an interesting option for Texas to plug into its rotation. He is an extreme ground ball pitcher, something Texas general manager Jon Daniels covets.

But he is coming off of two years worth of sports hernia and hip injuries making him a bit of a risk. If Morton returns to form, he could be a risk worth taking.

He will make a reasonable $8 million in 2016 and has a club option for 2017 making him an interesting trade target should Texas decide to send Moreland to Pittsburgh.

Next: Texas Rangers 25 of 25: Chris Gimenez tendered

With each day of the winter meetings a new set of rumors will surface. While no one know for certain what is really happening in Nashville, it seems to be almost a certainty that Texas is primed to make a move.