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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Rangers waiting for dominoes to fall

By Richard Durrett

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels didn't want to talk about Zack Greinke on Wednesday. Daniels has a policy where he doesn't comment on free agents, unless they were under club control the previous season (like Josh Hamilton, for instance).

The Rangers are pursuing Greinke and by all accounts, it's currently a two-team race with the Los Angeles Dodgers pushing to sign him as well. Where Greinke goes impacts the other avenues the Rangers could pursue. For instance, if he doesn't sign with Texas, the club could look harder at making a trade for James Shields or R.A. Dickey, two pitchers that interest them.

Hamilton is another domino. If he signs somewhere other than Texas, the club could look harder at Justin Upton or other outfield options while still chasing Greinke.

"He’s one of the bigger dominoes," Daniels said of Hamilton, when asked if signing him would allow other things to happen. "We’re working. We’re trying to get the first one to fall. So far, we’re happy with some of the moves we’ve made, but as far as some of the ones that alter the direction that we’ll go, that first domino hasn’t fallen yet. Sitting here right now, I can’t tell you which one it’s going to be."

So the Rangers continue to wait and at the same time look at other opportunities to improve the club.

Other notes:

* There's been plenty of chatter about a three- or four-team trade that could possibly net the Rangers outfielder Upton. ESPN.com's Buster Olney said it could involve the Rangers, Rays, Diamondbacks and Indians, but the the Royals could also be in the mix in place of one of those teams. Daniels didn't comment on the trade directly but was asked about multiteam trades in general.

"Nobody does those deals. They almost never happen," Daniels said. "They come up, you talk about them and it depends on who the trading partners are. Some guys are open to it, some guys aren’t. It’s real hard to do a deal with two teams. Trades are hard to make. You add anything to that, it just adds a layer of complexity you’d like to try to avoid."

Daniels has made one three-team trade in his career. The Rangers traded Juan Dominguez to the A's for pitcher John Rheinecker and infielder Freddy Bynum and sent Bynum to the Cubs for pitcher John Koronka. That was in 2006, Daniels' first season as GM.

* Daniels said he's talked with Yoshi Tateyama's agent and that the club has some interest in bringing him back. He's also checked in with Koji Uehara, who continues to see what kind of market is available for him.

* Daniels said Leury Garcia would come to camp as both an outfielder and shortstop. The club hopes to play him more in the outfield this season.

"The guy can flat play shortstop, probably the fastest guy and has one of the best arms in the system, Daniels said. "These are famous last words, but it’s probably going to be challenging to crack the lineup at shortstop here in the near future."

Daniels said he's a talented switch-hitter and can do a lot of different things. He said some scouts have said he has the potential to possibly be a Shane Victorino-like player with his body type. The club may try to find more out about that in 2013 by getting him more time in the outfield.