NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Rangers have met with the Minnesota Twins at the Winter Meetings, and one of the subjects brought up was pitcher Johan Santana.
The Rangers are not considered serious contenders for Santana, the most sought-after pitcher here, but they did express interest and the Twins did tell them what it would take to trade for the ace left-hander.
The Rangers are looking for any way to improve the team but are adamantly opposed to trading a large number of their young players for a quick fix. The Twins were reported to be holding out for premium young pitching in a package deal and the Rangers, who have a list of young pitchers coveted by other teams, are not willing to give them up.
"Our young players are attracting a lot of attention and it's a credit to our scouting staff and player development," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "We're getting hit on guys at different levels. That's different from previous years when we had three guys that people were interested in. The list is a lot larger this year."
Daniels declined to discuss any specifics regarding a meeting with the Twins but one club official described it as "kicking the tires."
Even if they did acquire Santana, the Rangers would still have to negotiate a contract extension with his agent, Peter Greenberg. Santana is entering the final year of his contract and reportedly will seek a six-year contract and upward of $125 million on the open market after becoming a free agent following the 2008 season.
The Yankees and Red Sox have been the prime contenders for the 28-year-old pitcher. But the Yankees reportedly have bowed out of the Santana chase, seemingly leaving the Sox as the only serious pursuers.
Numerous reports out of New England on Tuesday indicated that the Angels were talking with the Twins about Santana, but Los Angeles general manager Tony Reagins denied that.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.