Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels will head to Nashville for next week’s winter meetings with nothing resolved concerning the future of Josh Hamilton.
That’s just the way Daniels expected it to be.
“I’ve maintained contact with (agent) Mike Moye,” Daniels said. “The interest has been consistent. The process that we agreed to back in the spring when we tabled negotiations at that point was that Josh was going to test the market and once he had a sense of that, would circle back with us. I think he’s still in that process.”
Daniels didn’t sound concerned about that either. He said the Rangers are still sorting through some of their options too.
While there have been some moves made around baseball and a couple of minor moves by the Rangers, the club has yet to make a big splash this offseason like it did two years ago signing Adrian Beltre and last year with the signing of Yu Darvish.
Daniels maintained that the club will not wait on Hamilton’s decision before making any other moves. He also said that if the club did lose out on Hamilton, that doesn’t mean the Rangers will go seeking another outfielder. He’s confident with David Murphy in left, Nelson Cruz in right and a host of players currently on the roster vying for playing time in center.
“I don’t know that if Josh isn’t back we’re not in a situation where we feel like we need to add an outfielder,” Daniels said. “We may, but that’s not necessarily our first priority.”
The top two priorities for the club remain at catcher and in the bullpen. The Rangers met with catcher Mike Napoli Tuesday night and have been in contact with representatives for right-hander Koji Uehara, who was one of the key members in the bullpen in 2012.
“The catching market is a little bit of a game of musical chairs because there’s kind of a limited supply of guys available,” Daniels said. “We’re still looking at our options there.”
The club has until Friday to tender a contract to Geovany Soto, the most established catcher on the 40-man roster. Daniels said the club hasn’t decided what to do with Soto, who made $4.3 million in 2012 but hit just .198 between the Chicago Cubs and Texas.
Daniels also said the long-term solution to the catching spot may not be found this winter by the club.
While the cub hasn’t made any real progress on its top two priorities, Daniels isn’t worried.
“The majority of options in both areas are still out there,” he said. “The bullpen market is a little different because relievers come in all shapes and all sizes. A lot of times it’s not the heralded name or big free-agent signing that wins. A lot of times it’ the under-the-radar guy or a guy coming back from injury or tinkering with their delivery and find a new grip. We’ve added a couple of guys that have a chance to help us. We’re still looking in that area. Catching wise I don’t know at this point.”