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December 18, 2013

Rangers not any closer to roster additions

The Rangers' annual holiday luncheon passed Wednesday afternoon with no big news, which is big news compared to the past two years when decisions on Yu Darvish and Josh Hamilton were settled.

General manager Jon Daniels, though, got to enjoy his lunch this year. He told the assembled media that the Rangers aren't any closer to signing a free agent or trading for a missing piece than they were last week at the end of the winter meetings, and he said once again that he isn't expecting a significant addition.

But that doesn't mean that they don't have a level of interest in free-agent outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz or Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who has yet to be posted. But the Rangers aren't interested in them at what they are seeking or might receive.

"If there was a a deal out there we liked, we'd act on it," Daniels said. "We don't have any pending offers or anything like that."

Daniels said that the Rangers continue to look at everyday players, complementary pieces and pitching depth. Daniels wouldn't comment on how deeply involved the Rangers are with Choo, and said that they have stayed in contact with Cruz's agent, Adam Katz.

An agreement on the posting system with Nippon Professional Baseball is in place, and Daniels said he thinks it's fair to all involved even though a Japanese club is no longer able to get an outlandish posting fee like the $51.7 million the Rangers paid in 2011 for the exclusive rights to negotiate with Yu Darvish.

There is no more exclusivity. The new system is more like free agency in that a player can freely negotiate with any club, and the winner has to pay a maximum of $20 million to that the posting NPB team.

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