In his “10 questions” piece for MLB.com, T.R. Sullivan writes that the Rangers are in the market for backstops:
1. What will happen with the catching situation?
The Rangers will bring in at least one and possibly two veteran
catchers to push Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Taylor Teagarden. The
Rangers clearly have concerns about Saltalamacchia’s right shoulder and
they clearly have doubts that Teagarden is ready for everyday duty.
Rod Barajas, Yorvit Torrealba,
Bengie Molina and Miguel Olivo are the “best available” catchers, and I put that
in quotes for obvious reasons, but all four are believed to be seeking
multi-year contracts. Instead, Sullivan sees the Rangers going after
secondary options like Jose Molina, Michael Barrett and Mike Redmond.
He also mentions Josh Bard as a possibility, however he signed a minor
league deal with the Mariners earlier this week. Devastating news, I
know, but Jon Daniels will just have to pick up the pieces and move on.
Update: Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com reports that the Rangers have shown interest in Dioner Navarro of the Rays. Navarro was a non-tender candidate last month before he agreed to a one-year, $2.1 million contract.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.