With their early reported interest in Atlanta Braves slugger Justin Upton waning, if it was ever really there, the Texas Rangers have now apparently shifted focus to one of Upton's teammates in DFW native Evan Gattis, a power-hitting catcher/outfielder who is probably really best served as a designated hitter in the American League.
The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant reported on Monday that the Rangers had shifted focus to Gattis after it was determined the Braves' asking price for Upton was too high considering he is a free agent after the 2015 season. Gattis, on the other hand, is controllable for four more seasons and can play a corner outfield spot while also catching from time to time and possibly platooning with Mitch Moreland in the outfield and at DH.
He's a big-time right-handed power bat, which the Rangers have nothing of beyond Adrian Beltre. At 6-4, 260 pounds, Gattis has eclipsed 20 home runs in each of his first two seasons while playing just more than 100 games in each of them.
Reportedly, the Braves' ask for Gattis starts with the Rangers' top-level pitching prospects, Alex "Chi-Chi" Gonzalez and Jake Thompson — one or the other, or possibly even both, which would likely be too much for the Rangers to pay.
The fact he is controllable for so long makes it a possibility, unlike with Upton who in no way could command Gonzalez or Thompson.