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December 05, 2012

Rangers talking Dickey and Upton, but have cooled on Shields

Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke remain on the Rangers' radar Wednesday, the third day of these rumor-heavy winter meetings at the Gaylord Opryland, and trade talks have also made their way to the forefront.

The Rangers' pursuit of R.A. Dickey in a trade from New York continues. The Rangers love his character, and, of course, the fact that he has transformed himself into a pitcher capable of winning a Cy Young award.

Dickey, who is owed only $5 million in 2013, and the Mets are working on a contract extension, but progress reportedly has been slow. Dickey started his career with the Rangers and began his transformation from a conventional pitcher into a knuckleballer with an ill-fated start in 2006.

Also being discussed is a three-team trade with Arizona and Cleveland that would send Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton to the Rangers, who are willing to include Mike Olt and Martin Perez in a deal.

Arizona, though, signed third baseman Eric Chavez earlier Wednesday and also have Chris Johnson. Olt could be flipped to Cleveland, who could then ship All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to Arizona as the Rangers send Perez to the Diamondbacks.

Others pieces would likely be involved, like, perhaps, a Cleveland reliever to the Rangers and an Arizona pitcher to Cleveland. Arizona has dangled prospect Trevor Bauer, but might be hesitant to trade both Upton and Bauer. The Diamondbacks might also be more interested in Derek Holland than Perez.

But a Holland trade would create a hole in the Rangers' rotation as they are trying to fill one. According to a major-league source, the Rangers are not currently discussing a trade with Tampa Bay for right-hander James Shields, but are continuing their pursuit of Greinke. Another free-agent starter, Anibal Sanchez, has been mentioned as a possibility if Greinke takes all the money the Dodgers are thought to be willing to give him.

The catch to all Arizona-Clevleand-Rangers talk is that multi-team trades are difficult to complete. Just when something is thought to be agreed upon, one team might ask for more. In other words, any Rangers deal with Arizona and Cleveland likely isn't imminent.

-- Jeff Wilson

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