Some stuff floating out there today, because I've been missing in action for far too long (again):
● Justin Upton is supposedly up on the trading block again (in the view of other teams, at least, and as we all know, perception is always reality), and the Diamondbacks reportedly covet either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in exchange for Upton, with the Rangers themselves coveting Upton but refusing to budge on either of those names thus far. Dave Cameron took a stab at the Upton vs. Andrus question, and concluded that a one-for-one swap would make more sense for Arizona than it would for Texas, given that Andrus has a more club-friendly (albeit shorter) contract on an AAV basis. I suspect the Rangers share that sentiment inasmuch as they believe they should get more back from the Diamondbacks for Andrus than just Upton, and if there's anything that's going to derail such a natural trade match, it will probably be incongruent views on the parts of the Rangers/Diamondbacks on how much Andrus/Upton are really worth.
Ben Rogers tweeted yesterday that the Andrus camp is seeking seven years at $18 million per year after his final two years of club control -- now guaranteed at $11.3 million total -- expire. If Texas pulled the trigger on that extension tomorrow (and there is absolutely no reason to believe that they will), the Rangers' obligation to Andrus over the next nine seasons would total $137.3 million. Only two three shortstops in baseball history (Alex Rodriguez, at $252 million from 2001-10, Derek Jeter, at $189 million from 2001-10, and Troy Tulowitzki, at $157.8 million from 2011-20) have ever been guaranteed more than what Andrus is reportedly seeking.
I, for one, am still trying to work through the issues of (a) how likely Upton is to realize his upside, (b) Profar's likely short-term projection (Dan Szymborski forecasts him as a three-win player if cast in a full-time role in 2013), and (c) Andrus's longer-term offensive projection, of which I remain skeptical.
● In today's "sorta kinda relavant" transaction news, the Rangers have acquired sidewinding lefty Tommy Hottovy from the Royals in exchange for a player to be named later and cash, thereby expanding their 40-man roster to 35 players. Hottovy, 31, spent the better part of the last decade in the Red Sox organization before catching on with the Royals and churning out 50 quality innings at AAA-ball (and a handful of major league appearances) in 2012, and if enough things spin in the right direction for him next spring, he'll be in the mix for a lefty-throwing spot out of the bullpen. You all know the game by this point, though -- there's a decent likelihood that he never pitches a single inning for the Rangers, let alone meaningfully contributes for the Rangers (though he does have an option remaining).
● Meanwhile, in the last week, we've heard rumblings to the effect of (a) Josh Hamilton seeking seven years and $175 million, (b) Mike Adams questioning Josh Hamilton's reliability and the notion of Texas dumping y (which one would presume to reflect the overall clubhouse sentiment on Hamilton), and (c) the front office refuting the perception that they don't want Hamilton back. I don't expect an extension of the Hamilton-in-Texas tour unless a static market develops where those clubs that are interested either (a) lack the revenues to support what will likely be an eventual nine-digit commitment, or (B) are too unnerved by the other variables to fall in love with the monster 2011 production.