Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Perhaps Wednesday will be the day we finally
see some action at Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings.
If it's going to happen, it's likely to happen today, the last full day of
the meetings, as everyone normally bolts right after Thursday morning's Rule 5
But then again, Albert Pujols agreed to his deal just minutes before the start
of the Rule 5 last year. So, who knows?
As for the two big free agents on the market this year - Josh Hamilton and
Zack Greinke - it's status quo. Although, we are starting to get a better feel
on which teams are involved.
Reports started to circulate on Tuesday afternoon that Hamilton and the
Rangers were making progress on a four-year deal. But, then the former
American League MVP tweeted a picture of himself leaving the Opryland,
obviously without a deal.
Texas general manager Jon Daniels also said he had not even met with
Now a meeting between the two was probably not necessary. Daniels knows
Hamilton well enough. Any face-to-face meeting for Hamilton would have been
with teams like Seattle or Boston. And of course there's always the chance
that Daniels was less than forthcoming with us. That happens from time to time
If you read the tea leaves all signs point to Hamilton returning to
Texas. Boston filled their outfield need with an outrageous $39 million
contract for Shane Victorino, while the Mariners are in the mix to
sign Jason Bay.
Teams are moving on.
The Phillies could still get in on this, but they could fill so many other
holes with the money they would potentially have to dole out to Hamilton. They
just don't make a lot of sense.
Hamilton has told the Rangers he will give them the final offer. Texas knows
they can have him anytime it wants. They are comfortable enough that they
will get a deal done, but right now the more pressing need for the Rangers is
landing a starting pitcher, specifically Greinke, whose price has reportedly
soared into the $160 million range.
Texas' biggest obstacle in the Greinke sweepstakes is the Los Angeles Dodgers,
who are ready and willing to pay him.
Should Texas lose out on Greinke, look for them to act quickly on Tampa right-
hander James Shields. Actually Fox Sports is reporting that some sort of
three-way deal is being bandied about between the Rangers, Cleveland Indians
and Arizona Diamondbacks with names like Justin Upton, Shields and Asdrubal
Cabrera being thrown around.
In that potential scenario, though, the Rangers would wind up with Upton.
Rumors like that are nice to talk about, but rarely does anything come from
Some think that it's either Hamilton or Greinke for the Rangers and not both.
Maybe the Rangers are weighing what package makes more sense: Hamilton/Shields
The best package is Hamilton/Greinke. Texas has the resources to do it. But
then again I wouldn't pay Greinke $160 million. Let the Dodgers be the team to
make that mistake.
Until then, though, we wait for something ... anything ... to happen.
Some other rumblings:
*Business picked up a bit on Tuesday when ESPN reported that the Phillies and
Diamondbacks were engaged in trade talks that would have sent Cliff Lee to
Arizona in exchange for Upton. All parties involved, though, emphatically
denied. The Phils may be dangling a pitcher, but it won't be Lee ... unless
*One rumor that is starting to pick up a little steam has the Boston Red Sox
listening to offers on outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Should that be the case and
by the way they are targeting outfielders this week it seems that it is, a
Lee-Ellsbury swap doesn't seem all that outrageous. Expect a lot of teams to
get in on that, though, if it does happen.
*In addition to Cabrera, the Indians are also actively shopping outfielder
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