Rangers trade rumors: Andrew McCutchen, Lorenzo Cain, and Jorge Soler are among the outfielders that the Texas Rangers have supposedly inquired about, according to reports today from the first day of the Winter Meetings, though indications continue to be that nothing is particularly close.
There was a burst of McCutchen-related discussion earlier today, with Ken Rosenthal, Jon Heyman and Buster Olney all tweeting that the Rangers had been in contact with the Pirates about the former MVP. Despite that flurry, the writers, both national and local, seem to agree that nothing is imminent and the Rangers find the Nationals’ asking price too high.
Heyman also says the Rangers have inquired on Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain. Unlike McCutchen, who may be best suited to an outfield corner at this point, Cain is a true center fielder, and finding one of those is at the top of the Rangers’ priority list right now. The Royals’ situation appears to be a bit fluid, as they have a number of players slated to hit the free agent market after 2017, including Cain and fellow center fielder Jarrod Dyson. Jon Morosi says the Royals are also “gauging interest” in lefthander Danny Duffy — also a free agent after 2017. If the Rangers wanted to get really YOLO, they could look to fill both their starting pitching need and their center field need by dealing with the Royals. Of course, that would mean giving up significant talent for two players who will be under team control for just one season, and it sounds like Jon Daniels wants something other than a short-term solution, at least in the rotation.
Speaking of longer-term solutions, T.R. Sullivan says the Rangers have shown interest in Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler. Soler, who turns 25 in February, is under team control through 2020 and provides righthanded power...but he’s also a corner outfielder, not a center fielder. Of course, the Rangers need a COF/1B/DH type, as well as a center fielder, so Soler would still fill a need, and the Cubs could be a team interested in the Rangers’ bullpen depth.
And if you are one of those asking why the Rangers don’t go after Ender Inciarte of the Braves? Evan Grant says they inquired and got “nowhere.” Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier? No information on the Rangers inquiring, but the Nationals did, and found the asking price “exorbitant.”
So where do things stand? The Rangers want outfielders, at least one of them a center fielder. They’re going to look at most of the ones on the market, and some that aren’t. Center fielders that are good, controllable and affordable, like Inciarte and Kiermaier, are going to cost a ton to acquire. And most likely, the Rangers will leave the Winter Meetings with more information, but without actually acquiring a center fielder.