The Rangers are known to have spoken to representatives of three big-name free agents this morning and this afternoon, including a newcomer to the mix. They met with the agents for outfielder Carl Crawford, the Houston-area product who blossomed into an All-Star left fielder for Tampa Bay.
Crawford will command a big multi-year contract, and is the latest in a long line of top players the Rangers have touched base with. They also had talked to Paul Konerko's representatives before he re-signed with the Chicago White Sox this morning.
Crawford would create a logjam in the Rangers' outfield and in their lineup. He would either have to learn to play center field or push Josh Hamilton there on a full-time basis. The Rangers also have four left-handed-hitting outfielders, and Crawford fell into a comfort zone last season hitting third for the Rays. That's where Hamilton hits, and Michael Young bats second. Crawford, according to a source, does not want to bat first even though he has terrific speed.
The Rangers also talked to Vladimir Guerrero's agents, and talks there might pick up because Konerko is off the board and the designated-hitter pool has become thinner. The Rangers have spoken internally about Magglio Ordonez, Jim Thome, Troy Glaus, Marcus Thames and Manny Ramirez. Thome is the only left-handed hitter in the group.
Finally, the Rangers and Cliff Lee's agent met again this morning. The Lee Sweepstakes, it has become apparent, will likely not end this week.
-- Jeff Wilson