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November 12, 2013

Live from the GM meetings: Rangers out on starting pitchers?

It seems that way for now, according to Jon Daniels on Tuesday during the second day of the general manager's meetings. Despite the injury concerns heading into the 2014 season -- primarily with Matt Harrison (back, thoracic outlet syndrome in right shoulder) and Alexi Ogando (three DL stints in 2013) and to a lesser extent Yu Darvish (nerve issue in lower back) -- the big free-agent starting pitchers aren't being targeted by the Rangers.

“We’re not right now looking to give out a big multiyear deal for a starter,” Daniels said. “That’s not what our need is. We’ve got guys we really like that are signed. I’m more focused on the position-player side of the club.”

Daniels has been in contact with the agent for Garza, Nez Balelo. The Rangers continue to like Garza despite a iffy showing after they acquired him in July, but they would rather commit their funds to an offense that struggled in 2013.

The Rangers like Tanaka, 25, though the general belief is he isn't as good as Yu Darvish. Tanaka, a right-hander, works with a fastball that ranges from 90 to 97 mph and a wipe-out split-fingered pitch. He is expected to be posted, and the early speculation is that the winning bid could almost double the $51.7 million the Rangers shelled out on Darvish.

Harrison was reached Tuesday by phone just before he was heading out to hunt some game in North Carolina. He said that he is in Week 4 of his off-season workouts, and is doing everything he normally does without any issues with his back, which was operated on twice last year, and his right shoulder/chest area, which is operating with one fewer rib after TOS surgery in September.

He's optimistic that he will be ready for spring training and Opening Day in 2014.

“If everything keeps going the way it is, I feel good about starting the season as one of those five guys,” Harrison said. “I don’t know why not. I’ve had more time to rest it and get it right completely, and I’m not rushing into anything. I’ll be 100 percent by spring training and the season.”

Elsewhere in Rangers news, co-principal owner Ray Davis has arrived ahead of the owners meetings, where on Thursday he will be approved as the Rangers' controlling partner. He will replace Nolan Ryan and be the ownership face of the club at the quarterly owners meetings.

When informed that the media would have an interest in speaking to him Thursday, he didn't look as thrilled as I was hoping. Maybe I should have tucked in my shirt today.

Seen about as frequently as Davis today is assistant general manager Thad Levine, who is celebrating his 42nd birthday. Cheers.

-- Jeff Wilson






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