The Texas Rangers' top offseason target is Andrew Cashner, the San Diego Padres' righthander, according to Evan Grant.
With the Rangers not sure how some of their key "core" players -- particularly Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo -- are going to bounce back in 2015, Jon Daniels says he's hesitant to make a big deal giving up prospects for a fix for just next year. But Cashner is under team control through 2016, and Grant says Cashner has been quoted as saying that he would like to return to Texas.
If Cashner does want to be a Ranger, it opens up the possibility of the Rangers trying to work out a contract extension with him prior to the season starting, should they be able to trade for him. That would eliminate the potential dilemma of trying to decide what how to deal with Cashner in his walk year.
We took a look at Cashner as a potential offseason acquisition at the end of October. San Diego seems like a natural trade partner, since, as Evan points out, A.J. Preller is the g.m. and Don Welke is also in the front office, and those two guys were instrumental in signing many of the Rangers' quality prospects. Preller and Welke have a familiarity with the Rangers' prospects that they don't have with the prospects for other teams, and that familiarity would seem to make Preller and Welke more comfortable acquiring Rangers prospects, as compared to guys they have less firsthand knowledge about.