(* Trade Rumor Offerings To Chew On For Fun, Even Yuks)

Not to be confused with Brewers journeyman reliever Todd Coffey, the TROT COFFEY is a mailing list-only update on various trade and free agent rumblings unearthed, if not hatched, by the media:

[Yeah, I know I said these go to the mailing list only. Throwing today's on the Interwebs for those not on the list, as a way of saying, "Hey, why not sign up for the mailing list?" It's free.]

According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star: "The word from Texas, which is swimming in money from a new TV deal, is the Rangers plan to make a pitch for Zack Greinke regardless of whether they succeed in retaining free-agent lefty Cliff Lee"

According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star: "The word from Texas, which is swimming in money from a new TV deal, is the Rangers plan to make a pitch for Zack Greinke regardless of whether they succeed in retaining free-agent lefty Cliff Lee"

Yes, I typed that twice.

Lots of teams will be in on Greinke. Lots. But he can veto deals to half the league, many of which will be contenders who can afford him, and just like July, when Texas had the one player that Seattle decided it had to have for Lee, the Rangers still have two or three young players who could fit that profile when the Royals are facing off with their really big decision.

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated thinks the package for Greinke would probably need to include two young starting pitchers and one hitter. That's a good profile for Texas in terms of setting up a potential match. Royals GM Dayton Moore has evidently hinted that he would need two "can't miss prospects" and a young big league pitcher. Again, not a problem per se.

ESPN's Jerry Crasnick polled 17 general managers, assistant GM's, player personnel officials, and scouts, 11 of whom predicted Lee will sign with the Yankees. Five said Texas. One said the Angels.

I'm guessing Lee hasn't told of any of the 17 what he's going to do.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that Texas has the financial muscle to sign both Lee and catcher-first baseman Victor Martinez, one of my favorite hitters in baseball. He'd be a spectacular add.

And here's something else about that. Lee and Martinez were teammates in Cleveland from 2002 through 2009 (the exact Indians tenure for both players). And with AA Akron in 2002, where Martinez caught Lee's debut in the Indians system. And with AAA Buffalo in 2003, where Martinez caught Lee's first three starts that season with that club. Yes, Kelly Shoppach was Cleveland's primary catcher in 2008, when Lee won the Cy Young, but here's a rundown of who has caught Lee the most in his career:

1 game Paul Hoover, PHI

1 Adam Moore, SEA

3 Carlos Ruiz, PHI

3 Taylor Teagarden, TEX

3 Matt Treanor, TEX

7 Tim Laker, CLE

9 Paul Bako, PHI

9 Bengie Molina, TEX

10 Rob Johnson, SEA

12 Josh Bard, CLE/SEA

61 Kelly Shoppach, CLE

106 Victor Martinez, CLE

Add another pitch point to the recruitment: All other things equal (which is not to suggest that they will be), does Lee want to pitch to some combination of Martinez, Molina, Treanor, and Teagarden? Or some combination of Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine, Jesus Montero, and Jorge Posada?

I love the idea of Lee and Martinez as a package deal here (though by the end of the contract Martinez would certainly be DH'ing or spotting at first base). Love it.

That said, Detroit is rumored to be dead set on signing Martinez, Boston would like to bring him back, and Baltimore, Colorado, Seattle, and Toronto are believed to be among those interested as well.

John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus reiterates the Texas interest in Martinez and adds that the Rangers are considering catcher Ramon Hernandez as an alternative. Perrotto also adds Texas to the mix for free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Perrotto adds that Jeff Francoeur "has a good chance of landing with the Phillies," though Colorado is interested as well, and of course Kansas City has been rumored for months as being a possible destination for the outfielder.

Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post reports that Texas is believed to have interest in free agent lefthander Jorge de la Rosa. Lots of other teams, including the Yankees (if they don't land Lee) and Washington and Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, will be in on the 29-year-old.

The Yankees, according to Rosenthal, expect reliever Kerry Wood to sign somewhere else.

The Rangers signed journeyman catcher Kevin Cash to a minor league contract, and re-signed infielders Guilder Rodriguez and Travis Adair and righthander Chris Mobley to minor league deals.

Buck Showalter hired Rick Adair to be the Orioles' bullpen coach.

I don't make a habit of doing this, and I wasn't asked to here, but you should watch this video that reader Kenny Bybee created and posted on his Facebook, a 12-minute retrospective on the Rangers' 2010 season: It's absolutely fantastic.


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(c) Jamey Newberg

Twitter @newbergreport


Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.

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