Rendon atop Texas' list; Chirinos draws interest
By T.R.Sullivan | @Sullivan_Ranger
December 11, 2019
SAN DIEGO -- The Rangers have free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon at the top of their winter shopping list, and he could be the next big name to go after the Yankees landed right-hander Gerrit Cole on Tuesday night.
Agent Scott Boras said there is plenty of interest in Rendon, even after the Nationals re-signed pitcher Stephen Strasburg and the Phillies addressed their infield needs by landing shortstop Didi Gregorius. The Phillies are no longer considered in the running for Rendon.
The Dodgers are still a possibility, and the Angels may be a potential suitor. Both teams were interested in Cole before he reached an agreement with the Yankees. The Braves need a third baseman but are more likely to pursue Josh Donaldson.
Boras said the Rangers are an attractive destination because of their new ballpark. But he also downplayed that Rendon being a native Texan (Houston area) works in the Rangers' favor.
"I think that geography is something that players look at and evaluate," Boras said. "But I don't think it's an overriding consideration."
The bigger question is whether the Rangers will go more than five years. Rendon turned down a reported seven-year deal from the Nationals before becoming a free agent.
"Every club kind of has him in an appropriate level of the seven-year range," Boras said. "It's pretty consistent."
Boras was asked if the Rangers were an attractive destination for Rendon.
"All I know is this is a competitive world and you have to be timely in what you do," Boras said. "If not, you could lose these players."
Rangers interested in Chirinos
The Rangers have veteran Jeff Mathis signed through next season at $3 million, but they met with Robinson Chirinos' representatives on Tuesday morning. Chirinos was with the Rangers from 2013-18 before they declined his option for the 2019 season.
Chirinos signed a one-year deal with the Astros and was the No. 1 catcher for the American League champions. The Rangers wanted Mathis because of his defensive reputation and ability to work with pitchers. But he ended up hitting .158 with a .209 on-base percentage and a .224 slugging percentage.
"The outcome wasn't what we anticipated," president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels said. "I think our intention at the time is we loved Jeff's defense and his work with pitchers. We knew going in we were going to ask a lot of him. We did. We knew we were stretching his durability at 36 years old in the Texas heat. I think he wore down because of how we used him. That's not on the staff, that's on me. I created the deal. The intentions of prioritizing defense with Jeff were good."
There is a possibility Chirinos and Mathis share the catching duties with Jose Trevino getting more development time. The Rangers have a high regard for Chirinos and are actively looking for catching help.
"I think we would like to add to the mix," Daniels said. "Whether it's by trade or free agent, I don't know yet. It's a spot we'd like to address."
• Daniels said the Rangers are still working on a Minor League deal for veteran right-hander Edinson Volquez, who would compete for a spot in the bullpen.
• Regarding the chances of a reunion with outfielder Hunter Pence, Daniels said he told Pence's agent, Dan Horwits, "It may be something we revisit, but it's not something we are focused on right now."
• The Rangers are also looking to sign right-hander Matt Bush and left-hander Jeffrey Springs to Minor League contracts with invitations to Spring Training.