Texas Rangers active and hopeful during busy Winter Meetings

Josh Hamilton: staying or going? (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Rumors, fact, fiction, sources, deals close, deals not so close and on and on it goes.

According to reports last night from the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Rangers had a four-year $100 million deal on the table for Josh Hamilton, just waiting for him to sign on the dotted line. The Boston Red Sox were said to be in this race as well, but after they signed another free agent outfielder, Shane Victorino, I have to wonder if they’re still in on Hamilton. Then, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels came out and said the only contact he had with Hamilton’s agent was only to schedule their next meeting.

After hanging around the Winter Meetings last year, which took place at the beautiful Anatole Hotel in Dallas, any rumor that made its way around the lobby became more fiction than actual truth.

But when it comes to Hamilton, USA Today’ Bob Nightengale said it so well: “He can carry a team like he’s Babe Ruth for one month but disappear like Jimmy Hoffa the next.”

Here are some other news and notes from the Texas Rangers camp:

Joakim Soria passed his physical earlier today, the last step of completing a two-year $8 million deal with a club option for 2015. With his signing, I would imagine it ends Mike Adams‘ tenure with the Rangers. It’s likely Soria will fill the set up role to current closer, Joe Nathan, another pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery. According to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, Soria has been throwing from 105 feet on flat ground. His expected return time is in May but the team doesn’t want to rush him.

Another report, again from the Dallas Morning News, has the Rangers involved in a deal that involves Tampa Bay right-hander James Shields. Either Texas has moved on from the idea of acquiring free agent Zack Greinke, who most think will land with the Los Angeles Dodgers, or they’re throwing other teams off the scent.

The popular opinion is that the Rangers can’t affor to sign both Hamilton and Greinke. Another note on Greinke, this from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, has the race between the Dodgers and the Rangers.

There were multiple rumors throughout yesterday about a possible deal sending Justin Upton to the Rangers for short stop Elvis Andrus. If that were the case, and the Rangers wanted Upton that bad and they were willing to give up Andrus to make the deal, wouldn’t they have done it already?

It’s that thought that makes me wonder if there was ever any legs to this rumor. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com had his latest up earlier Tuesday evening and has a small little blurb about Mets’ knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. “R.A. Dickey has told people that he would ‘love’ to come back to Texas. The Mets are talking to clubs and the Rangers are interested.”

The name, Michael Young, has apparently made the rounds in the lobby. Apparently the Rangers are talking to a few different clubs, one of them apparently being the Philadelphia Phillies, about possibly trading the veteran infielder. With a single year, and $16 million, left on Young it would keep most teams from taking on that kind of contract. But if the Rangers agree to keep all or most of it on their books just to make a deal work, maybe a Young trade is possible after all.

According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, and take this rumor how you will because it’s not the first time his name has come up, the Rangers are willing to trade young infielder Mike Olt. His name was hot and heavy prior to July’s trade deadline and yet he remains with Texas. If they are willing to deal him, it won’t be for just another name in the hat.

The Rangers will leave the winter meetings after having signed catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year deal and reliever Soria to a two-year deal with a club option for a third.

Who’s the prized fish the Rangers are trying to catch? Is it Josh Hamilton or is it Zack Greinke? Or is it both?

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