That’s according to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal. The Rangers will consider just about anything as they attempt to improve before the deadline. That means Elvis Andrus. It means Joe Nathan. And it means the newly acquired Matt Garza, who was just picked up from the Cubs for four prospects nine days ago.
Garza is 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in two starts for his new team and 7-1 with a 2.95 ERA overall this season. If the Rangers traded him, it wouldn’t be a sign that they’re giving up on 2013; they’d want a big bat in return to put in their lineup alongside Adrian Beltre. Nelson Cruz is likely about to serve a 50-game Biogenesis suspension, and even with Cruz, the Rangers rank just ninth of the 15 AL teams in runs scored this year.
As for possible fits for Garza, it’s hard to come up with anything obvious. The Diamondbacks don’t have any expendable bats. The Rangers probably wouldn’t be all that interested in Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford from the Dodgers. A Garza-for-Carlos Beltran trade with the Cardinals might make sense if Oscar Taveras were healthy and ready to step into the St. Louis outfield, but he’s not. Garza to Atlanta for Justin Upton? Probably not. Garza to Baltimore for Nick Markakis? He’d be no lock to help the Rangers. Garza to Boston for Jacoby Ellsbury? That might have made a little sense before the Red Sox just got Jake Peavy, but not as is. Cleveland? It’d probably have to be a three-team deal with youngsters going elsewhere.
Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.
We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.
Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.
The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.
Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.
In a last-second compromise before a scheduled heading today, first baseman Brandon Belt and the Giants have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.2 million deal.
Belt requested $7.5 million and the Giants countered at $5.3 million, so they’ve settled slightly on the team-friendly side of the midpoint. Belt will be arbitration eligible again next season for the final time before hitting the open market as a free agent.
He’s coming off a very good season in which he hit .280 with 18 homers and an .834 OPS in 137 games and Belt has a lifetime .803 OPS through age 27, making him one of MLB’s most underrated all-around first baseman.
Right-hander Dale Thayer and the Orioles have agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.
Thayer had a rough 2015 season for the Padres, posting a 4.06 ERA and spending time in the minors, but he was a solid part of San Diego’s bullpen from 2012-2014 with a combined 3.02 ERA and 173/50 K/BB ratio in 188 innings.
At age 35 there’s no guarantee that Thayer will look good enough to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he’s got a strong chance to wind up pitching middle relief for Baltimore.
Taylor Featherston, who was designated for assignment by the Angels last week, has been traded to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.
Featherston stayed in the majors with the Angels for all of last season due to being a Rule 5 pick from the Rockies organization, but the 25-year-old infielder hit just .162 in 169 plate appearances.
He’s been much better in the minors, but nothing about his track record there screams quality regular and the Phillies are likely viewing him as a defense-first bench option for now.