With free agency less than two months away, the Texas Rangers have reportedly shown interest in signing both Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury this winter, writes Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com. The two are each impending free agents who are expected to be among the premier position players in this winter's relatively thin crop of bats.
Rosenthal notes that the Rangers have inquired about obtaining both McCann and Ellsbury multiple times over the past year. With Texas set to potentially lose the quartet of Geovany Soto, AJ Pierzynski, Nelson Cruz, and David Murphy this fall, acquiring a starting catcher and outfielder figure to be a top priority for the playoff bound Rangers this fall.
Ellsbury, who recently suffered an injury to his right foot, is poised to be among the most sought after bats this winter, and could receive a contract in the nine figure range. The 2011 MVP runner-up will turn 30 on Wednesday, and is currently leading the AL with 52 steals. For his career, Ellsbury has hit .297/.350/.438 with Gold Glove defense in center field. He has been worth over 23 WAR in his career, including a 5.7 mark this season.
After missing the first month of the season, McCann has rebounded nicely, posting 120 OPS+ with 19 home runs in just 90 games for the Atlanta Braves this season. The 7 time All-Star has spent the entirety of his career in Atlanta and won't turn 30 until next February. The advanced metrics place McCann as an above average defensive backstop, and he provides plenty of value with his bat as evidenced by a career 117 wRC+ and .354 wOBA.
Despite their recent success, the Rangers have lacked an above average option behind the plate. The last full-time Rangers catcher to make an All-Star game was Ivan Rodriguez in 2001.
More from MLB Daily Dish:
- Red Sox agree to exercise option on Jon Lester
- Dodgers sign Alexander Guerrero
- Mets may trade Frank Francisco by end of season
- Matt Kemp and Jacoby Ellsbury: Center fielder injuries have October implications
- Rangers rejected Nelson Cruz's contract offer
- Red Sox have "keen interest" in retaining Jacoby Ellsbury