LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers are still talking to the Royals about pitcher Zack Greinke, and they have interest in pitcher Matt Garza if the Rays are truly motivated in moving him. Vladimir Guerrero is their first choice to be their DH in 2011, but only on a one-year deal. The Rangers spoke to his representatives again on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings, but also look at other alternatives like Magglio Ordonez and Hideki Matsui. The point is the Rangers are not just sitting around at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Report waiting for Cliff Lee to decide where he will pitch in 2010.
"We're looking at a number of different things," general manager Jon Daniels said. "Otherwise we'd be sitting around watching TV full-time." Lee does impact other moves, but Texas can't make an aggressive move until it knows what is going to happen with Lee. "Because of the commitment you would have to make [with Lee], you have to slow-roll everything else," Rangers president Nolan Ryan said. Guerrero was Texas' designated hitter last year and hit .300 with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs. But he is also looking for a multiyear contract and the Rangers would prefer a one-year deal. The two sides continue to talk, but the Rangers told Guerrero's agents to go look for a multiyear deal while the Rangers consider alternatives. "We've made it clear that we'd like to have Vlad back for a lot of reasons," Daniels said. "But we have to look at all our options." That includes starting pitching as well as designated hitter. Greinke is clearly of interest to Texas, but the two sides are not close. But it is also clear there are more teams interested in Greinke than Lee because the Royals' ace is signed for two more years at $13.5 million annually. The Brewers, Dodgers and Nationals are among the teams that are interested, but the Royals are asking for much in return. "If we decide to move Zack, there'll be enough for us to be satisfied if that's what we decide we ultimately need to do," Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore said. "But again, I don't know when that is -- I don't if it's here, if it's at the [July] non-waiver Trade Deadline, I don't know if it's in the [next] offseason." Texas could be forced to improve its offer if it wants Greinke and has to weigh the possibility of its farm system to taking another big hit in such a trades. Names being thrown out include pitchers Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez, outfielder Engel Beltre and shortstop Jurickson Profar. It all comes back to the Rangers' willingness to trade their top Minor League talent. "It's not our first choice, but it's definitely a viable option," Daniels said. "You've got young players you'd like to develop, but you've got to consider it if it's an opportunity to improve the club." The Rangers carefully forge ahead on other fronts as the rumors swirl around the enormous white Christmas tree that towers over the Dolphin lobby. The Rangers like their outfield of Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, David Murphy and Julio Borbon, so club officials are making it known that Carl Crawford, another free agent, isn't going to be an option. They have made it known that first baseman Chris Davis is available, but the Cubs shot down a rumor that he and reliever Darren O'Day would be involved in a package deal. A Padres official also said Davis is not on their radar screen even though they are looking for a first baseman after trading Adrian Gonzalez. There is no doubt the Rangers would like something to get done and they do have money to spend. It's just not an unlimited supply of cash. If Lee would make a decision, that might clear things up, but there are still other alternatives to consider at the Winter Meetings.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.