© 2012 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
12/05/12 8:09 PM ET
Daniels waiting for the dominoes to fall
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Rangers would love to walk away from the Winter Meetings with Josh Hamilton re-signed and/or a front-line starter added to the rotation.
They probably can't sign both Hamilton and free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke, but inking Hamilton and trading for the Mets' R.A. Dickey would certainly accomplish two significant goals.
The Rangers aren't there yet. General manager Jon Daniels did meet with agent Mike Moye late Tuesday night at the Opryland Resort, but the Rangers remain on hold while Hamilton weighs his options.
This was not the meeting in which Hamilton's side presents its best offer to see if the Rangers want to match it. The process has not reached that point.
"We're staying in touch and communicating," Daniels said. "They're exploring their options. We have a good relationship, and we agree it's a good fit, but it's got to be something that's responsive to the market. That's what they are determining."
Daniels is operating under the assumption that the Rangers will have one last chance to sign Hamilton before he decides to go elsewhere.
"They don't have that obligation, but that's my general thinking," he said. "I don't get the sense they're through with the process of free agency."
The Rangers are interested in signing Greinke, but Daniels declined to say if he has met with Greinke's agent, Casey Close. The Dodgers have spoken with Close, and Texas still looks at Los Angeles as the heavy favorite to get the deal done.
That's why the Rangers are exploring other options and why they are talking to the Mets about Dickey. The Rangers are also interested in James Shields but are getting the impression that the Rays aren't serious about trading him.
It's unclear if the Mets are willing to trade Dickey, who can be a free agent after this season, but they would be looking for high-level prospects in return. New York needs offense and would likely be interested in Texas infielder Mike Olt and outfielder Leonys Martin.
"With the passage of time comes more information and a better ability to assess where we are," Mets GM Sandy Alderson said. "But it doesn't mean we'll have a resolution by the time we leave here tomorrow afternoon. I think when we leave here, we will be comfortable that we've explored all of our options."
The Rangers are doing the same thing. They have explored multiple ways to improve, and there were some rumors early on Wednesday of a multiteam deal with the D-backs, Indians and at least one other team. That rumor had Texas getting outfielder Justin Upton from Arizona, but Daniels seemed amused by the possibility of that kind of trade coming off.
"Those trades are almost impossible to do," he said. "It's hard to make a trade with two teams. If you add a third club to the mix, it adds another layer of complexity to it."
The point is, the Rangers are looking at everything, and much depends on what will happen with Hamilton. That situation has not shut down the Rangers completely, but it has limited them to a degree.
"Obviously, that's one of the bigger dominoes, and we're still trying to get the first domino to fall," Daniels said. "That first domino still hasn't fallen. We're trying to put the best team out there, and there are different ways to do it. There are two different outcomes: Josh comes back or he doesn't. We're looking at it both ways."
Daniels hasn't ruled out anything, whether it's asking Ian Kinsler to move to first base to make room for Jurickson Profar or asking infielder Michael Young to waive his no-trade clause. The Yankees are among the teams looking for help at third base, although they appear focused on free agents Mark Reynolds and Kevin Youkilis.
"We haven't set our club yet," Daniels said. "It's hard to say how things will play out. We have talked about different things, free agents, trades, promotions from within. There are different ways to align our position players.
"Everything is on the table until we know [where] we are. It's all about what makes sense for our club."
Daniels said that the Rangers are interested in re-signing free-agent pitchers Koji Uehara and Yoshinori Tateyama.
Minor League infielder Leury Garcia will be given a chance to play center field next season after playing four games there for Double-A Frisco this past season. Garcia is considered an outstanding defensive shortstop, but the Rangers are well stocked at the position, with Elvis Andrus, Profar and Luis Sardinas. Garcia is the Rangers' 19th-ranked prospect
Don Welke, senior scouting assistant, was honored as the Midwest Scout of the Year on Wednesday night.