The Rangers go into the Winter Meetings looking for a center fielder, relief pitching and a possible impact bat. It may be difficult for them to fill all three spots, especially when the free-agent market is considered weak overall.The Rangers, for the most part, are committed to their young players and would prefer to add players who either fit into their long-term plans or could fill a hole in the short term without sidetracking their long-term vision. To get your fix of Winter Meetings updates, check in with MLB.com and Rangers.com regularly. We'll bring you the news as it happens from Nashville, Tenn.
2007 finish: 75-87, last place, AL West.
Deals so far: The Rangers raided the Angels' farm system, claiming outfielder Nick Gorneault on waivers and signing pitcher Warner Madrigal. Texas has avoided arbitration by reaching agreements with pitchers Joaquin Benoit and Frank Francisco and infielder Ramon Vazquez. The Rangers signed Benoit to a two-year deal.
Players eligible for arbitration: C Gerald Laird, P Akinori Otsuka, OF Marlon Byrd.
Free agents: OF Sammy Sosa, OF Brad Wilkerson, IF Jerry Hairston Jr., P Jamey Wright.
Needs: The Rangers need outfield help. They would prefer to find a center fielder. If they can't, they'll go with Marlon Byrd and David Murphy in center and try to find either a corner outfielder or a first baseman that can wield an impact bat in the middle of the order. They also want to add a veteran arm to their bullpen. It doesn't necessarily have to be a closer but somebody who can pitch late in the game.
Dealing strengths: The Rangers have depth at catching, both at the Major League level and in the farm system. There is interest in Laird. The Rangers also have some good young players within the system but seem intent to hold on to them as much as possible.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.