No matter what happens next, Texas Rangers will look different in 2013


Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton and Justin Upton could all wind up in Texas next season. (Getty Images, USA TODAY Sports)

Michael Young looks to be headed to the Philadelphia Phillies, Derek Holland is getting trade interest from the Kansas City Royals, among others, and the Rangers’ front office left the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville with a look of confidence.

That look could land them Zack Greinke, Justin Upton and maybe, just maybe, Josh Hamilton as well.

Texas Ranger fans have been having this kind of dream for years, especially those who have been following this team long before The Ballpark at Arlington ever came into existence. Could that dream seriously become a reality?

According to several reports on Thursday, the Rangers and Phillies had put together enough of a deal to leave the finishing touches to Young himself. The only thing left was for Young to decide whether or not he was going to waive his no-trade clause and take the everyday spot with the Phillies or exercise the no-trade and remain with the one and only team he’s ever known as a big leaguer.

More than likely we’ve seen the last of the long time Ranger. The writing was on the wall two years ago when Texas tried to trade him to the Colorado Rockies. You remember the drama that created, right? It led to a meeting between Young and general manager Jon Daniels.

Daniels said he had learned his lesson about trying to trade Young. Apparently not.

Then there are the rumors surrounding free agent Greinke, as well as the four-team trade that could send Upton, a player the Rangers apparently really want, from Arizona to his new home in Texas. However, one snag could be getting Upton without having to give up minor league phenom Jurickson Profar.

The original thinking was the Diamondbacks wanted Elvis Andrus. However, earlier this week Arizona general manager Kevin Towers made it known he wanted a shortstop he could command for more than two years, essentially ending the possibility of Andrus heading west.

The Rangers have made it known they have no intention on trading Profar, to Arizona or anywhere else. Could that end any chance of this deal being struck, or is Towers just posturing to see how far Texas is willing to go?

Greinke, however, is a completely different story.

Remember when I said I didn’t believe the race to land the right-hander would only be about the money? We all heard how the Los Angeles Dodgers would outbid anyone who got in their way. They were supremely confident they would land Greinke for their starting rotation.

In the words of the great Lee Corso, “not so fast my friend.”

Greinke’s wife is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, that alone ties him to the Dallas/Ft Worth area. Not only that, but CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman talked about Greinke’s “quiet meeting” with the Rangers on his way to Los Angeles.

“He quietly met with Rangers people about a week ago on his way out to L.A. for meetings with both the Dodgers and incumbent Angels,” writes Heyman. “People who heard about his Texas meeting say it went extremely well.”

Not only that, but Heyman remembers Greinke turning down $100 million from the Washington Nationals to stay with the Milwaukee Brewers. Indications that money isn’t the be-all, end-all when it comes to this particular free agent.

Here’s the most intriguing part of the rumor mill and how the Rangers are involved: Nolan Ryan stopped just short of saying his team would attempt to not only sign Greinke, and possibly acquire Upton from Arizona, but also make an attempt to keep Hamilton.

“If you look at the magnitude of free agency and the history of what those people sign for, you have to believe that’s going to surpass what our budget is,” Ryan told the Dallas media on Wednesday. “It comes down to ownership and what our opportunities are, if you did have the opportunity to sign both guys.”

Texas may have made a small move here, signing catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year deal, and maybe a medium move here, signing reliever Joakim Soria to a two-year deal with a third year option, but rest assured this front office is nowhere near done.

If all indications are correct, they have zeroed in on Greinke and are bent on making sure he puts on a Texas Rangers uniform.

Once that move is complete, the rest of the dominoes will fall. Whether or not that means Hamilton returning and Upton finding a new home, we won’t know for sure.

What we do know is that when the Texas Rangers report to spring training in early February, they will have a very different look than they’ve had in quite some time.

The only question that remains on the minds of Texas Rangers’ fans is this: “Will it finally end with a World Series celebration?”

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