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Rangers looking to add to roster after Winter Meetings

@Sullivan_Ranger
December 16, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- The Rangers came up short in their pursuit of free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon. General manager Jon Daniels did not hide his feelings as he prepared to exit the Winter Meetings on Thursday morning. "The same as everybody associated with the team, fans, players and all of

SAN DIEGO -- The Rangers came up short in their pursuit of free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon. General manager Jon Daniels did not hide his feelings as he prepared to exit the Winter Meetings on Thursday morning.

"The same as everybody associated with the team, fans, players and all of us … disappointed," Daniels said. "At the end of the day, we made a big offer, but he got a better offer and made a decision to go somewhere he preferred to be. I respect that.

"I am not going to sugarcoat it -- it sucks. That was our preferred path, but it is what it is. He made a call, and we are going to continue to look at alternatives."

The Rangers made an offer of six years and an option to Rendon before the Angels ended up agreeing to terms on a deal for seven years, $245 million, a source told MLB.com.

The Rangers continue the search for a third baseman, and they are still interested in free agent Josh Donaldson. They are not alone. The Nationals, Twins and Braves are also interested. A source said Donaldson is looking for four years in the neighborhood of $100 million. Beyond that, the next best available free agent is Todd Frazier.

A trade is also a possibility. The Yankees have Miguel Andujar, who was the runner-up for American League Rookie of the Year in 2018 but missed most of this past season while recovering from right shoulder surgery. He has been supplanted by Gio Urshela and could be available.

"We are looking at everything," Daniels said. "I wouldn't assume that we necessarily view the options exactly as they are portrayed publicly. Still a lot of time in the offseason, and we are going to continue to look to improve the offense."

The Cubs are reportedly interested in trading third baseman Kris Bryant as a way to shed payroll. But he could become a free agent after the 2021 season, and Daniels seems reluctant to go in that direction.

"Trading for somebody who has only one or two years of control makes more sense if the club is a little more filled out," Daniels said.

Biggest remaining needs

1. Third base: Enough said.

2. Starting pitching: The Rangers have four starters, with Mike Minor and Lance Lynn at the top of the rotation and Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles at the back end. The competition for the fifth spot consists of left-handers Brock Burke, Kolby Allard and Joe Palumbo, and right-handers Jonathan Hernandez and Ariel Jurado. The Rangers could use a proven veteran in the third spot.

"It just depends on the fit," Daniels said. "I'm not sure there is a free agent starter we are going to go all in on. It's such a competitive market. That's why we chose to address it early on the way we did. We felt some of the other guys would get beyond where we value them."

3. Catching: The Rangers met with Robinson Chirinos' agents while in San Diego. Jason Castro is another free agent that could appeal to them. The Rangers will do something to reinforce the position.

Rule 5 Draft

The Rangers did not take a player in the Major League phase nor did they lose a player. They were concerned that hard-throwing reliever Joe Barlow might get claimed. He did not, and he will get a Minor League invite to Spring Training to compete for a bullpen spot.

GM's bottom line

"To win a free agent auction, you have to be either the highest bidder or be damn close and have a compelling reason why otherwise. We were not in either case." -- Daniels

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.