Texas Rangers rumors: The Rangers met with free agent starting pitcher James Shields over the weekend, according to Chris Cotillo.
This is one of those things that could mean nothing. Jon Daniels has been quite clear throughout the offseason that the Rangers aren't going to be in on the top tier of free agent pitchers, which would include Shields, who is expected to get $20 million per year or more over four to six years.
Or it could mean that the Rangers have at least explored the possibility of moving some salary -- Elvis Andrus being the obvious possibility -- and at least checked in with Shields to see where things stand with him, should they end up clearing some budget room and be in a position to splurge.
Or it could mean that the Rangers are willing to stretch the budget or be creative in deferring or backloading money for the right free agent, with Shields being the type of pitcher they'd be willing to do it for.
The Rangers pursued Shields two offseasons ago, before he was ultimately dealt to the Royals for a package that was headlined by 2013 A.L. Rookie of the Year Wil Myers, and if they were to be in a position to spend, my guess is that Shields would be their top target.
That being said, my guess is that they aren't really players for Shields. But stranger things have happened...