Just a few weeks ago, the Texas Rangers were believed to be one of the most active teams on the free-agent market, in hot pursuit of both Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke. That pair has signed elsewhere though, and -- according to assistant general manager Thad Levine -- the Rangers are now much more likely to acquire someone in a trade than free agency, reports Jim Bowden of ESPN.
Levine told Bowden over the weekend that the club has had "great conversations" with Arizona Diamondbacks' GM Kevin Towers about acquiring outfielder Justin Upton, and that if a deal does not get done on that front it will not be for a lack of effort. The D'Backs are rumored to be more interested in sending away corner outfielder Jason Kubel at the moment than Upton, but the young outfielder has been on the trade rumor mill so long he cannot be counted completely out.
The club is still looking to fill the void left by the departures of Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Ryan Dempster, Koji Uehara, and Mike Adams, but just has not pulled the trigger on a big move. Bowden adds that some of the biggest free-agent names still available -- like right-hander Kyle Lohse and first baseman Adam LaRoche -- are not even on the club's radar. Texas did meet with outfielder Cody Ross last week -- and are thought to be interested in Michael Bourn -- but were never actually "in" on Nick Swisher despite rumors to the contrary.
The Rangers have made only two free-agent moves of note this winter, signing right-hander Joakim Soria and catcher A.J. Pierzynski.