The Rangers are discussing a trade for Rays right-hander James Shields, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.
The Rangers have also been connected to Zack Greinke and some of the other free agent starters, so this could a case of a team simply exploring all its options. Shields, 30, posted a 3.52 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 223/58 K/BB ratio in 227 2/3 innings this past season for Tampa Bay. The Rays will want a package of good prospects in return. Source: FOX Sports
TR Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers are interested in trading for R.A. Dickey.
The Mets still want to sign Dickey to an extension, but trading him is a real option if a new deal can't be worked out. The Royals have also expressed interest in the knuckleballer, with CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reporting that there are 6-7 teams that have put in a call to the Mets asking about the NL Cy Young winner. Dickey was a first-round pick of the Rangers back in 1996 and pitched for them from 2001-2006. Related: Rangers
Both of these are interesting aspects. The first of the two obviously has the most impact becuase Shields is much younger than Dickey. However, it is believe that the Rays are asking a field day for him. We would probably have to give up 2 or 3 elite prospects to get him. Also, while Shields is good, I am not sure he is quite an ace yet. Many believe he is a very solid #2, which we already have in Darvish. If we have to give up the farm, I am looking to get an ace.
As goes with Dickey. There are obviously the risks, he is 40 years old. We probably wouldn't have to give up as much to get him, but he is going to need a contract extension anyway, and we will at least have to give up a very top premiere prospect to get the CY Young winner. Knuckleballers historically pitch longer, but there is a lot of risk coming with him as well.
Basically it comes down to this.
Give up the farm to get Shields, a legit #2 starter with the potential to build up to a #1. Again, you will have to give up at least 2 premiere prospects and probably a third to get him, then look to sign to an extension.
Give up at least one premiere prospect and probably another one or two middle levels to get Dickey. A Cy Young winner, but 40 year old who is running off one good season late in his career. You will also have to sign to an extension before a deal is finalized anyway.
Shell out $160 million on Greinke.