Waiting for Cliff Lee to choose his long-term home makes it tough for the Rangers to pull off any big moves in the meantime, but T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that general manager Jon Daniels is in the market for rotation help and “could end up being first in line” for Zack Greinke if the Royals active shop their ace.
Sullivan calls trading for Greinke a “Plan B” for Texas, noting that “the Rangers’ first choice is to re-sign Lee.”
He also speculates that Daniels could pursue trades for Rays starters Matt Garza or James Shields and White Sox starters Gavin Floyd or Edwin Jackson.
Lee is fielding offers as a free agent and Scott Feldman’s health status is uncertain following knee surgery, so the Rangers’ current rotation is C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Tommy Hunter, and Derek Holland, with Matt Harrison or Michael Kirkman in line for the fifth spot.
Even after giving up a Justin Smoak-led package of prospects for Lee the Rangers have one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, so Daniels definitely has the ability to make another big splash regardless of where Lee decides to sign.
Tied at a league-leading 10 home runs apiece with Cody Bellinger and Khris Davis, it wasn’t long before Brewers slugger Christian Yelich set himself apart from the competition yet again. During the bottom of the first inning on Friday, the 2018 NL MVP singled out the first pitch he saw from the Dodgers’ Ross Stripling — an 86.5-m.p.h. slider just wide of the strike zone — and returned it to the second deck seats in right field for his 11th home run of 2019.
While Bellinger and Davis will undoubtedly continue to make it difficult for Yelich to claim sole honors at the top of the leaderboard, the 27-year-old outfielder has had a banner year so far. Through the first three weeks of the season, he’s batting a strong .354/.447/.823 with 15 extra-base hits, 29 RBI, and three stolen bases across 94 plate appearances. The 29 RBI (27 entering Friday’s game) he collected between March and April eclipsed Prince Fielder’s previous franchise record of 26 RBI — and there’s no telling how much higher that total will rise by the end of the month, too.
Even with the benefit of Yelich’s immense talents, however, the Brewers are just clinging to a first-place tie with the Pirates atop the NL Central. They dropped their last two games to the Cardinals and Dodgers, respectively, and will need to overturn the remainder of their series against LA to build up their division lead again. They’re currently tied 2-2 with the Dodgers in the seventh.