Texas Rangers rumors: Will Venable, the 33 year old outfielder who finished the 2015 season with the Rangers, has been thought by many to be an ideal addition for Texas, given their need for someone to fill in for Josh Hamilton and also backup Delino DeShields in center field. That apparently isn't going to be an option, however, as Ken Rosenthal tweets that Venable will be in the Cleveland Indians' camp today, presumably to sign a minor league deal.
Venable being off the market means that the Rangers will have to look elsewhere if they are going to bring in someone to help fill the absence created by Josh Hamilton starting the season on the disabled list. I suspect the drums will start beating for media favorite David Murphy, although Murphy is defensively limited -- he can't play center and is sub-par at this point in a corner outfield spot -- and hasn't hit righthanders particularly well the last several years.
At this point, I'm starting to wonder if the Rangers aren't just resigned to using James Jones as their backup center fielder, and hoping either Josh comes back quickly or Nomar Mazara shows himself major league ready in the early part of 2016. Austin Jackson is still out there, but reportedly rejected a deal from Anaheim that would have paid him $5-6 million, which means he's out of the Rangers' price range (unless Bob and Ray opt to increase the budget). And Drew Stubbs is still hanging around.
But left field is a problem at this point, and has the potential to be a problem all season long.
UPDATE -- And another outfielder is off the board, as Shane Victorino goes to the Cubs on a minor league deal.
UPDATE II -- And now we learn that Indians outfielder Abraham Almonte has been suspended for 80 games due to a PED violation. That certainly helps explain this move.