Results tagged ‘ Rangers ’

Geovany Soto to White Sox

The White Sox have signed catcher Geovany Soto to a Minor League deal, tweets Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago. It’s not clear if Soto has an invite to Major League Spring Training.

Soto, 32, appeared in 24 games last season, split between the Rangers and A’s. He was an All-Star in 2008 with the Cubs and has played parts of 10 seasons in the Majors.

The White Sox have four catchers on their 40-man roster: Tyler Flowers, Adrian Nieto, Rob Brantly and Kevan Smith.

–Austin Laymance

Do the Astros need to trade a catcher?

The Astros have four catchers on their roster after dealing for Evan Gattis on Wednesday. Yes, Gattis can play left field and is projected to start there this season, but that still leaves the club with three other options behind the plate: Jason Castro, Hank Conger and Carlos Corporan.

The Astros have discussed trading Corporan to the Rangers, reports Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. The club would prefer to move Corporan instead of Castro or Conger, according to the report.

Castro was an All-Star in 2013 and Conger was acquired from the Angels earlier this offseason. So it makes sense that Corporan appears to be the odd man out in Houston.

Corporan, 31, hit .235 with six home runs in 55 games last year. He agreed to a one-year deal worth $975,000 for the 2015 season on Thursday to avoid salary arbitration.

The Rangers’ current options at catcher include Robinson Chirinos, Tomas Telis and Jorge Alfaro.

– Austin Laymance

Rangers ink Feliz, avoid arbitration

The Rangers and right-hander Neftali Feliz have agreed to terms on a one-year contract for the 2015 season, avoiding salary arbitration, the club announced on Thursday.

The deal is for $4.125 million, reports T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.

Feliz was 2-1 with a 1.99 ERA and 13 saves over 30 relief appearances with Texas in 2014. He ranks fourth in Rangers history in saves (87) and his .179 career opponents batting average is the lowest in club history among pitchers with at least 200 innings.

The Rangers have two remaining players eligible for arbitration in left-hander Ross Detwiler and infielder Mitch Moreland. Texas has until Friday’s deadline to exchange binding salary figures with these players, after which, they can continue to negotiate contracts until the case is presented to an arbitration panel in February.

– Austin Laymance

Report: Hamels has four primary suitors

Cole Hamels has been on the trading block for months as the Phillies undergo a rebuilding process. So far, that hasn’t resulted in a deal for the ace.

With Spring Training five weeks away for the Phillies, Comcast Sportsnet reports there are four “primary suitors” for Hamels: the San Diego Padres, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. The Phillies are reportedly looking for two top prospects in exchange for Hamels.

The Phillies would prefer to add a premier catching prospect, according to the report, and have interest in Boston’s Blake Swihart, San Diego’s Austin Hedges and Texas’ Jorge Alfaro.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has repeatedly said the Phillies would only deal Hamels for the right price, one that remains high. It’s possible the club keeps Hamels going into the season and continues to explore trades throughout the year.

“Again, he sits right in the sweet spot,” Amaro said last month. “We can keep him and it would be great for us, and if we feel he can move us forward by moving him, that’s something we can explore as well. As I said, we don’t have any rush to move him or mandate to move him.”

– Austin Laymance

Astros, Braves discussing deal for Gattis

The Astros are reportedly close to acquiring Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis in exchange for a trio of prospects, according to multiple sources — though the deal is not finalized just yet. Mark Bowman of MLB.com adds that the Rangers are also still in the mix, if a deal is not completed with the Astros.

The potential return package from Houston would reportedly include right-handers Michael Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman, as well as third baseman Rio Ruiz, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Foltynewicz is ranked as the Astros’ No. 4 overall prospect according to MLB.com, while Ruiz checks in as the club’s No. 9-ranked prospect.

If a deal is completed, it would mean the Braves have traded away their top two home run hitters from 2014 in Gattis and Justin Upton, who was traded to the Padres last month.

Gattis, who could serve as a catcher, outfielder or designated hitter in Houston, is currently under contract through the 2018 season. The 28-year-old posted a .263/.317/.493 batting line this past season, while hitting 22 home runs in just 108 games. He hit 21 homers over 105 games during his rookie season in 2013.

As for the Astros, they currently have Jason Castro penciled in as their starting catcher. Castro is coming off a disappointing 2014 campaign in which he hit just .222/.286/.366 with 14 home runs, though he did rack up a .276/.350/.485 line with 18 homers — all career-bests — in 2013.

– Paul Casella

Braves still talking to clubs about Gattis

With the start of Spring Training a little less than a month away, the Braves are still talking to a few clubs that had shown interest in Evan Gattis during the early portion of this offseason.  But as of early Wednesday afternoon, it did not appear that a deal was imminent.

If Gattis is traded, his most likely destination would be to the American League, where he could be utilized as both a designated hitter and catcher.  The Astros, Rangers and Royals have been among the clubs that have shown interest this winter.

While the Royals now appear to be out of the mix, the Astros and Rangers might still have some interest in the right-handed power hitter, who has already tallied a pair of 20-homer seasons, despite not playing more than 108 games during either of his first two seasons at the Major League level.

There was a point when the Braves were hoping to land a Major League-ready starting pitcher or outfielder in exchange for Gattis.  But it appears their most recent discussions have provided reason to believe they would be more likely to gain a crop of prospects if they deal the 28-year-old slugger, who will not be eligible for free agency until after the 2018 season.

Gattis is currently slated transition from the catcher’s position to starting left fielder in Atlanta.  While this would create the potential to compile approximately 150 additional plate appearances over the course of the season, it also creates some concern about his limitations with the glove.  He was credited with -10 Defensive Runs Saved while logging just 342 1/3 innings (approximately one-third of a full season) in left field during the 2013 season.

– Mark Bowman

Rangers in the market for another starter, not in on Shields

Though the Rangers remain interested in adding another starting pitcher this offseason, it apparently will not be right-hander James Shields, according to a report by MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan.

The Rangers met with Shields at last month’s Winter Meetings, but have not followed up with the 33-year-old free agent since leaving San Diego.

“It’s not in the cards,” general manager Jon Daniels said on Monday.

With that in mind, Daniels confirmed that the Rangers are obviously not the mystery team that reportedly extended a five-year, $110 million offer to Shields. The market for Shields has been relatively quiet, though it’s apparently a strong one given that recent report. Though teams such as the Red Sox, Giants, Marlins and D-backs have been tied to Shields at various times this offseason, it’s unclear at this point if any of those teams indeed extended a nine-figure offer to Shields.

“We’re not in that game,” Daniels said. “We like the pitcher, he would be a good fit for our team. He is a talented strike-thrower. But we’re not in the mix.”

With Shields supposedly off the table, the Rangers are turning their sights elsewhere to shore up their starting rotation. The club has already made strides to improve the rotation this offseason, re-signing Colby Lewis and acquiring left-hander Ross Detwiler from the Nationals to pair with Yu Darvish and Derek Holland. As for the final spot in the rotation, they currently have young right-handers Nick TepeschNick Martinez and Lisalverto Bonilla, who all could compete for the job.

Though it’s possible one of those three begin the season in the rotation, the Rangers haven’t ruled out adding another veteran starter to the mix. After top-end starters Shields and Max Scherzer, the next tier of free agent starters includes pitchers such as Ryan VogelsongChris YoungKevin CorreiaRoberto Hernandez and Wandy Rodriguez.

The Rangers haven’t been linked strongly to any one of those pitchers, in particular, but they could ramp up their pursuit as Spring Training draws closer. Texas could also add a starter via another trade, though the club doesn’t appear to have any set trade targets at this point.

“We’d still like to add another starter,” Daniels said. “We’ve had some discussions, but it’s hard to handicap.”

– Paul Casella

Rays to move Zobrist this offseason?

Though it seems to be nothing more than speculation at this point, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi writes that there is a “decent chance” the Rays will trade second baseman Ben Zobrist at some point this offseason.

On the surface, trading Zobrist would certainly make sense for a Rays team that has already had a busy offseason. The versatile infielder is set to turn 34 years old in May and is due to make $7.5 million in 2015 before hitting the free agent market after the season. A number of teams would likely be interested in Zobrist, something that could lead to the Rays moving him this offseason before watching him walk away in free agency next winter.

While nothing has materialized quite yet, Morosi lists the Mets, Nationals, Mariners, Rangers, Cubs, Reds, and Twins as potential fits for Zobrist. Again, there is nothing concrete to report on this front as of right now, but it simply seems to be the next logical step for the Rays and is something worth monitoring into the New Year.

– Paul Casella

Rangers sign Fujikawa

The Rangers have signed free-agent right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa to a one-year deal with a club option for 2016, the club announced on Tuesday.

Texas also signed first baseman Kyle Blanks and infielder Tommy Field to Minor League deals with invitations to Major League Spring Training.

Fujikawa, 34, made his big league debut with the Cubs in 2013. Over two seasons in Chicago, he was limited to 27 total appearances due to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in June 2013. He’s been effective when healthy, though, striking out 31 in 25 career innings.

Blanks, 28, split time with the Padres and A’s last season. He hit a combined .309 with two home runs in 26 games. In 260 career games in the big leauges, Blanks has a .234 average with 30 homers.

Field was in Triple-A in 2014 with both the Angels and Pirates organizations. The 27-year-old appeared in 33 games with the Rockies and Angels from 2011-12.

–Austin Laymance

Astros could enter mix for Hamels

The Astros are reportedly being considered a “sleeper team” in trade talks regarding the Phillies’ Cole Hamels, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

The Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers, Padres, Rangers and Giants have all been linked to Hamels this offseason, though Cafardo believes the Astros could swoop in and make a push to work out a deal with the Phils. That said, Hamels does have a no-trade list and it’s unclear at this point whether or not the Astros are on it.

Either way, there is speculation that Hamels might be willing to waive his no-trade clause for any of the aforementioned teams, if said team agrees to pick up his $20 million club option for 2019. He’s currently owed $90 million over the next four seasons before that option year comes into play.

The Giants’ interest likely depends on whether or not they’re able to sign James Shields, while the Cubs could fall out of the race as well after signing top free agent starter Jon Lester last week. The Red Sox and Dodgers are widely believed to still be the frontrunners for Hamels, but it appears they may have more competition than initially expected.

– Paul Casella

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