The Texas Rangers have fallen short in most of their free agent pursuits this offseason, but better news may be on the way.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Rangers had a successful meeting with free agent Nicholas Castellanos. He came away impressed by the organization, and they are one of the finalists to sign him.
Morosi lists the Cubs, White Sox, and Giants as other teams who have some interest in Castellanos.
Castellanos has been a right fielder and could play there for Texas, but first base would also be an option. Either way, he fits the profile of a right-handed power bat the Rangers have been pursuing all winter, having fallen short in the Anthony Rendon sweepstakes.
Splitting time between the Tigers and Cubs in 2019, Castellanos hit .289 overall with 27 home runs and 58 doubles.
The Rangers have been busy on the pitching front, adding one of the biggest names on the market via trade. Castellanos would bolster the offense as they attempt to move into contention in 2020.
The Cleveland Indians have been talking about a Corey Kluber trade with a number of teams this winter, and they finally dealt the pitcher on Sunday to the Texas Rangers.
Texas sent reliever Emmanuel Clase and outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. to Cleveland for Kluber.
The Los Angeles Angels were reportedly optimistic about their chances of landing Kluber, but the Rangers must have offered a better deal. The Angels are still looking to improve their starting rotation after they were outbid by the New York Yankees for Gerrit Cole.
Kluber will turn 34 shortly after the 2020 season begins, and he didn’t pitch after May 1 last season after suffering a fractured right forearm. However, he has been phenomenal when healthy and posted a 2.85 ERA and 1.02 WHIP from 2014 through 2018. He won two Cy Young awards during that span.
The Arlington Fire Department responded Saturday to a two-alarm fire at the new Texas Rangers stadium.
Numerous videos were shared to social media showing smoke and fire at the new Rangers ballpark, which is currently under construction.
Fire at the new Texas Rangers stadium across the street from AT&T Stadium in Arlington
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 14, 2019
The Arlington Fire Department reported that they were on the scene and had contained the fire in the upper portion of the stadium. The cause was not immediately clear.
AFD is on-scene at a 2-alarm fire at new Ranger Stadium. The fire was located and contained in the upper sections of the stadium. No injuries reported. Fire cause under investigation.
— Arlington Fire Dept. (@ArlingtonTxFire) December 14, 2019
There was no indication of whether the fire might impact the park’s scheduled 2020 opening in any way, but it seems to have been minor. Hopefully the cause is less stupid than what happened to a Mets minor league affiliate last season.
- Texas Rangers
The Rangers were one of a few teams that pursued Anthony Rendon before the star third baseman signed with the Angels on Wednesday, and the teams that missed out are believed to be turning their attention toward Josh Donaldson. Texas is apparently not likely to end up with him, either.
Levi Weaver of The Athletic reports that the contract Donaldson is seeking is not one the Rangers are comfortable handing out. Unless the price drops, Texas is seemingly out of the Donaldson sweepstakes.
Sources indicate that the price on Josh Donaldson has exceeded the Rangers' comfort level, and they are likely out.
So ignore the first option I listed here, I guess https://t.co/lEXNujroVm
— Levi Weaver (@ThreeTwoEephus) December 12, 2019
The Dodgers, Nationals and Phillies are all reportedly in on Donaldson, so it makes sense that the price is climbing with Rendon no longer on the market. Rendon was said to be Philadelphia’s top target this offseason. Washington also now has a major hole in its lineup after winning the World Series, and they may try to fill it with Donaldson.
Donaldson signed a one-year, $23 million deal with the Braves last season to rebuild his value after a poor 2018. The 34-year-old hit 37 homers and had a .900 OPS for the NL East champs, and there has been talk of him potentially getting a four-year deal.
Mike Leake is one of several veteran starting pitchers that have been made available in trade discussions ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s deadline, and there are multiple teams interested in adding him.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers have engaged in trade conversations with the Seattle Mariners surrounding Leake.
#Brewers one of teams on #Mariners’ Mike Leake, sources tell The Athletic. #Rangers also have been in mix. Trade possible, even after Leake pitched last night. Leake holds full no-trade, but told reporters he was willing to waive it for deal that did not come to fruition – yet.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 31, 2019
The Mariners appear motivated to move Leake, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported on Tuesday that they are willing to eat a significant portion of the 31-year-old’s remaining salary to help facilitate a deal.
The #Mariners are telling teams they will eat large amount of Mike Leake's remaining salary to facilitate a trade. He's earning $16 million this year, $15M in 2020, and has an $18M option or $5M buyout in 2021. The #STLCards are paying $5M of his contract this year, and $4M next.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 31, 2019
Leake is 9-8 with a 4.40 ERA this season and has a career ERA of 4.05 and WHIP of 1.28. He has thrown 175 innings or more in every season since 2012 and is on pace to surpass that mark again this year, so he would be a nice innings-eater down the stretch for a contending team.
It’s safe to say the Texas Rangers’ social media team has had enough of fans tweeting them trade deadline suggestions.
The Rangers mocked up a hilarious Twitter graphic on Monday for fans who would send them trade suggestions, with all roads leading to a simple reminder that the social media team has nothing to do with roster decisions.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) July 29, 2019
The best part? The small “tank for Zion” arrow in the top right corner.
The trade deadline can be a rather stressful time for everyone involved in the sport. Beyond the social media team, a prominent target of trade rumors made light of the speculation surrounding him. None of them have any control over this, so they might as well make light of it.
- Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers are in a difficult situation at the trade deadline, but it appears they’re going to stick to their rebuilding plan instead of going for it.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Rangers pitcher Mike Minor is “increasingly likely” to be traded by the deadline, with both the Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies as interested parties.
Sources: Mike Minor is increasingly likely to be traded in the next two weeks, as I reported a short time ago on @MLBNetwork. The #Brewers and #Phillies are among the interested teams, although there’s no indication that a deal is close. @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 17, 2019
The Rangers were not expected to contend this season, as evidenced by the fact that Minor has been the subject of trade rumors since April. Texas, however, sits at 50-45, just four games out of the second wild card spot. They’ve decided, apparently, that it’s not worth trying to go for it this year, and their best chance of being competitive in the long-term is to stick to the plan they already had in place.