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Texas Rangers rumors: James Shields is "not in the cards," says Jon Daniels

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Jon Daniels shot down the possibility of the Rangers going after free agent pitcher James Shields

Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers rumors:  James Shields is a free agent starting pitcher that the Rangers have long been interested in, and who would fit in quite well with Yu Darvish and Derek Holland in the Rangers rotation.  With the Rangers having been mentioned this weekend as a possible destination for Shields, I was thinking about doing a post for tomorrow about the possibility of the Rangers being a stealth candidate for Shields.

After all, the Rangers were willing to make an exception to go get Torii Hunter, who ended up going to Minnesota, and they have added very little payroll so far this offseason.  Perhaps the Rangers were also willing to make an exception to get Shields, and were simply lying in the weeds, not committing to other free agents in the hope that Shields price would come down to the point that they could jump in and sign him.

Well, Jon Daniels has saved me from writing that post, saying today that Shields is "not in the cards" for the Rangers this offseason.  Daniels went on to say:

"We're not in that game," Daniels said. "We like the pitcher, he would be a good fit for our team. He is a talented strike-thrower. But we're not in the mix."

So much for that nice little theory.  In the T.R. Sullivan piece linked and quoted above, Daniels says the plan all along has been not to be active early in free agency, and wait until they are closer to spring training to see where things stand.  He also praises Robinson Chirinos and Ryan Rua.

The Rua praise, in particular, is interesting to me, as the sense I've gotten for a while is that they like Rua more than the prospect raters and projections do.  And Daniels is quoted by Sullivan as saying, "We are a little higher on [Rua] than other people are."

Daniels does say that they'd like to add another starter, which makes sense, given the state of the rotation behind Yu Darvish and Derek Holland, although it remains to be seen if the Rangers choose to add to the rotation via trade, through a free agent signing, or just by hoping the internal options do well.  Chi Chi Gonzalez has garnered a lot of buzz, and if there's an off-the-radar internal option who could beat out the Nicks and Lisalverto Bonilla for the #5 spot in the rotation, he's the guy I'd pick.  There are also possible trade candidates out there, with the Mets still having not dealt either Dillon Gee or Jon Niese...those are two names on the trade front to keep an eye on.