A number of players that the Rangers have been rumored to potentially have interest in this winter have been given a qualifying offer by their former team to preserve compensation. I'll update this list as more information is known.
- B.J. Upton has obtained a qualifying offer from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rangers have been rumored to be interested in Upton to potentially replace Josh Hamilton in center field.
- Michael Bourn has obtained a qualifying offer from the Atlanta Braves. Like Upton, the Rangers could look to Bourn to replace Hamilton in the outfield. Unlike Upton, however, Bourn would be more of a top of the order hitter and perhaps someone who could replace Ian Kinsler as the leadoff hitter.
David Ortiz has obtained a qualifying offer from the Boston Red Sox.
Reports this morning speculated that the Rangers had serious interest in signing Ortiz should he not return to Boston. That would open up the Michael Young can of worms for yet another winter as the only position Ortiz can play is DH and the only position Young should play is DH. It's no surprise that Ortiz was extended a qualifying offer, but along with the other complications with signing Ortiz, losing a draft pick might make him less attractive.Signed by Boston: $26MM over two years
- Adam LaRoche has obtained a qualifying offer from the Washington Nationals. While LaRoche hasn't been mentioned in many rumors as a potential Rangers' target, he could fill a need at first should the Rangers decide that Mitch Moreland isn't a long term option.
- Nick Swisher and Hiroki Kuroda have obtained qualifying offers from the New York Yankees. Swisher is someone the Rangers may keep tabs on as someone they can plug-in in the outfield or at first base and help replace Josh Hamilton's bat in the lineup. Kuroda had a great year in New York and could be someone the Rangers could look at in the rotation should they fail to land Zack Greinke though the need might have been mitigated some today with the announcement that Alexi Ogando would be re-joining the rotation.
- The Yankees have declined tendering Russell Martin a qualifying offer. Martin will likely interest the Rangers with their gaping void at catcher now that Mike Napoli will be free to sign with any team he likes. Perhaps the Rangers roll with a tandem of Martin (or someone like Martin) and Geovany Soto and use the money saved on what it would have cost to sign Napoli on options that they feel would better improve the team.
- The Anaheim Angels declined tendering Torii Hunter a qualifying offer. Hunter is another possible Hamilton-bat/outfielder replacement. While Hunter is my least favorite baseball player, he had quite a season for the Angels last year (5.3 fWAR, his best season of his career and his first season above 4 fWAR since 2002), and is likely someone who will be on the Rangers' radar. Now there is the added bonus in that he won't cost the Rangers a draft pick to sign.