Texas Rangers Rumors: Winter Meetings, Day Two, has been relatively quiet on the Texas Rangers front. There were the two deals involving divisional rivals today, but the latest on Twitter from Evan Grant has Jon Daniels saying there's no changes on the free agent front, and the rumor mill for Texas appears to have been quiet today.
The Shin-Soo Choo market continues to be quiet after last night's tweet that talks were reaching a "critical" stage. It sounds like the Rangers have indicated to Scott Boras that there is a certain level that they are willing to go on Choo, but that's not seven years, and that's not Jacoby Ellsbury/Jayson Werth money, and if and when Choo and Boras are willing to bring their price down, the Rangers will be ready to talk. I suspect that the Rangers would be willing to go five years at $18-20 million per, maybe with a vesting option, but it doesn't sound like Choo and Boras are ready to go there.
This is, of course, the strategy the Rangers have used with a lot of free agents: they keep in contact, and have a certain area where they are comfortable going. More often than not, another team is willing to top what the Rangers are willing to offer, but if the price comes down to where Texas is comfortable, they'll jump -- see, e.g., Adrian Beltre.
Nelson Cruz is the set of steak knives to Shin-Soo Choo's new Cadillac, but the Rangers are slow-playing Cruz as well. Its been well-documented that the saber types see Cruz as someone who isn't worth the type of contract he's likely to get, and Evan Grant says that the Rangers would give Cruz more than what Mike Napoli got from Boston on a two year deal, but don't want to go more than that. Grant also indicates that he thinks the Ranger thinks Cruz really wants to return, and are willing to be patient as a result. If the Rangers hold firm at two years, I have to think that Cruz is going to sign elsewhere, since I think some other team will give him more than that guaranteed.
Meanwhile, regarding a guy who Rangers fans have talked about as a potential low-cost signing, Buster Olney says Michael Morse wants $6-7 million on a one year deal. I see Morse as a one year, $5 million guy, and at that price, I'd be fine with Morse coming to Texas to DH.