Recently, we’ve heard that the Yankees, Royals, Brewers, and Mariners are all at least somewhat interested in acquiring free agent 1B/DH Kendrys Morales. You can now add in the Rangers, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
With the MLB first-year player draft under way, the draft pick compensation attached to Morales has disappeared, removing the only reason why Morales has remained a free agent into the season’s third month. The Rangers lost first baseman Prince Fielder for the season due to a herniated disk. Since Fielder went on the DL, Mitch Moreland has posted a meager .575 OPS at first base. The Rangers could use some help.
The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.
Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.
The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.