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Rangers May Look North for a Catcher

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Rangers May Look North for a Catcher

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Things worked out pretty well the last time the Rangers made a trade with Toronto for a catcher.

Mike Napoli came to town, bashed his way to a monster 2011 season and followed it up with another solid, if less spectacular, year in 2012. Napoli's set to become a free agent and the chances of his departure likely rose last week when the price for qualifying offers was set at $13.3 million. That increases the likelihood that Napoli hits the open market and that the Rangers will have to look for another catcher. 

T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers may look to Toronto if that need does arise. The Blue Jays spent 2012 with J.P. Arencibia as their starter and former Angel Jeff Mathis in reserve while also grooming highly regarded prospect Travis d'Arnaud. They also just claimed Bobby Wilson, another former Angel, which does lend credence to the idea that they are looking to move a catcher for help elsewhere. 

Sullivan suspects the Jays would have interest in Derek Holland, although he calls Ranger interest in dealing him unlikely, and Alexi Ogando, while also floating the notion of dealing Jurickson Profar straight up for d'Arnaud. 

That last one seems like a non-starter, but d'Arnaud is a more interesting possibility than Arencibia. Arencibia's got some power, but he walked just 18 times last season while showing little other growth from a middling rookie season. There may be some upside, but there's more of it with d'Arnaud. 

Upside comes with a higher price, of coure, and that's always the sticking point in these negotations. Profar's a better prospect than d'Arnaud and any deal you would make with Toronto for the young catcher would cost you something valuable.

Assuming Holland is off the table, Ogando isn't enough to get it done by himself. Martin Perez and Mike Olt might have supporters in Toronto, though, and creativity can make things like this happen in ways you never imagined. 

And it come sometimes lead nowhere and you wind up with Geovany Soto and another mid-priced veteran. A big trade would definitely be more fun, although that's probably not one of Jon Daniels' criteria when weighing deals. 

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