Texas options: Will it be Zack Greinke or Josh Hamilton?


The Texas Rangers are in the hunt for free agent Zack Greinke. (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

It started Wednesday morning with one simple tweet from ESPN’s Jayson Stark, “The big buzz this morning at the winter meetings is: Watch out for Texas on Zack Greinke.”

From that moment on, the debate was hot and heavy whether or not the Rangers were trying to raise the price on the Los Angeles Dodgers or if, in fact, they were serious about acquiring the free agent right-hander.

You can imagine that Dodger fans made their only argument, and it’s a legitimate one, that they can outbid the Rangers. To that point, they’re right. But what if it’s not about money for Greinke? What if he’s after more than that?

Let’s put a hypothetical together for a second.

Greinke meets with general manager Jon Daniels and owner Nolan Ryan and sees the kind of long-term success he can have as a member of the Texas Rangers. Not only that, but Daniels and Ryan share their plans with the guy they want, telling him about the type of players they are planning to acquire or trade for and the type of team they will have during Greinke’s tenure in Arlington?

Would money then take a back seat to championships? Or is money the only factor to Greinke and his agent?

Early Wednesday I had a hunch the free agent would end up with the Texas Rangers. Sure they may not be able to back up a dozen or more Brinks security trucks in front of Greinke’s home, but they can offer him enough to make him think twice about staying in Southern California.

Just imagine this, if you will: An opening-day rotation of Greinke, Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando would make any Ranger fan pick up their phones and order as many season tickets as they could afford.

That’s not the only news making the rounds around Nashville and not the only name attached to the Rangers.

Raul Ibanez, who most thought would be back with the New York Yankees, is getting interest from not only the Bronx Bombers but also the Seattle Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies and, you guessed it, the Texas Rangers according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

One of the biggest pieces of news, and a story just about every Ranger fan was following throughout the day, was a possible four-team trade that involved not only the Rangers but also the Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the trade would send outfielder Justin Upton from Arizona to Texas, infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from Cleveland to Arizona, and pitcher Martin Perez and other prospects from Texas to Cleveland. However, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports says Arizona is still trying to get Texas to include either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in the deal.

Another name, to almost no one’s surprise, that made the rounds this afternoon was Rangers left-hander Holland. According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, if Texas were to make Holland available, there were interested teams, namely the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins.

Jon Daniels confirmed meeting with Josh Hamilton‘s agent but, in true Daniels fashion, wouldn’t confirm much else, especially the rumor of a trade involving Michael Young.

There’s still one more day left and although most of that day will be spent with the Rule 5 draft, the possibility of a move on the final day isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

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