'Never close' on Sale, Rangers weigh options

'Never close' on Sale, Rangers weigh options

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Rangers' pursuit of left-hander Chris Sale is over now that the White Sox have traded him to the Red Sox. That pursuit apparently never took off.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said he never got close to trading for Sale either last summer of this offseason. The Rangers made a much harder attempt in the summer.

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"It was never close," Daniels said after the White Sox and Red Sox announced their trade. "We exchanged names and ideas but it was never close."

Daniels said he had just one conversation with White Sox general manager Rick Hahn since then.

"We had a preliminary conversation at the beginning of the winter, but that's it," Daniels said.

The Rangers are still looking for more starting pitching, but don't appear close to anything. They have talked with the Reds about right-handers Dan Straily and Anthony DeSclafani. The Reds need relief help and could be interested in Jeremy Jeffress, but the discussions have not progressed.

The Rays have starting pitching, including Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, Drew Smyly and Alex Cobb. But they are driving a hard bargain with their valuable commodities.

Colby Lewis is still a free agent. With the Rangers still looking for starting pitching, a possible reunion with him is getting stronger.

"We may just add depth to the pitching we have and create competition for the fifth spot," Daniels said. "There are different ways to go about it."

Banister on CF, Desmond

Moreland departure leaves hole

Mitch Moreland is headed to the Red Sox on a one-year deal, leaving the Rangers without a proven first baseman. Jurickson Profar, Ryan Rua and Joey Gallo have all played there in the past and the Rangers may go with a combination of those three while trying to fit other needs.

"First, we have to evaluate whether or not all those players, how they fit together, how you construct a team," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It's not just, a plug-and-play type situation, where you say, 'I'm just going to take this player and plug him in and let him go play.'

"It's how do each one of these players, how do they work together in a lineup. And the other part of that is, when you get to the big leagues, you've still got to put some numbers on the board. You've still got to be able to produce. You've still got to show the ability to play at this level."

Banister on Gallo

Rangers beat

• Major League Baseball announced postseason shares on Tuesday. The Rangers received $38,422.69 per player for winning their division.

• The White Sox could be a landing spot for free-agent pitcher Derek Holland now that Sale has been traded. The Pirates are also interested in Holland.

• Banister on the perilous idea of converting reliever Matt Bush into a starter: "The thing that we've got to continually do is evaluate what we think is best for Matt and the Texas Rangers, and I'm not going to put a sight on either way, say this guy's going to be -- we're going to try him as a starter. I don't think you can try anything in this game. I think what you do is evaluate and make the best decision you possibly can of equally what's best for both the player and the organization."

Banister discusses Bush

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.