Rangers in good shape after Winter Meetings
General manager Daniels preps for '14 in advance, isn't expecting major moves
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rangers arrived at the Winter Meetings having already done most of their heavy lifting after adding first baseman Prince Fielder, catcher J.P. Arencibia and left fielder Michael Choice.
So even though general manager Jon Daniels didn't make another move this week, he feels his club is already positioned nicely for 2014.
"We like what we've been able to accomplish overall," Daniels said. "There are still some things we can do. But I've said a number of times, I don't expect any more big moves. That's not to say we aren't looking at some things. But I don't expect any more major moves."
Daniels said he'd still like to add offensive depth, but downplayed the possibility of another big-ticket acquisition such as Shin-Soo Choo or Nelson Cruz.
"I like our club," Daniels said. "I think there's still some areas we can add some depth. I think we'll be competitive. We added, in our opinion, one of the few difference-makers on the market in Prince. We were able to add some young Major League ready talent [in] Michael Choice."
Daniels did all of this without touching the Rangers' pitching core, which is the strength of the club.
"We've maintained all of our depth," Daniels said. "That's important. When I talk about depth and young players, that's not about the future. That's now. You need depth and athleticism and numbers to win now. That's not a long-term thing."
Deals done: The Rangers officially signed Arencibia to a one-year, $1.8 million contract. He spent the past three years as the Blue Jays' No. 1 catcher, but will at least start the season backing up Geovany Soto.
Rule 5 activity: The Rangers took Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson from Colorado's Class A roster in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 Draft. He's an infield prospect who hasn't played since 2011 and is not expected to play anytime soon.
Signings: The Rangers signed infielders Scott Wilson, Brent Lillibridge and Kevin Kouzmanoff, along with pitcher Armando Rodriguez to Minor League deals with invitations to Major League Spring Training. Pitcher Doug Mathis was signed to a Minor League deal without a big league invitation.
Goals accomplished: The Rangers actually accomplished much before they ever arrived in Florida. Their biggest move was acquiring Fielder from the Tigers for second baseman Ian Kinsler as well as outfielder Choice from the Athletics in a four-player deal. By signing Arencibia and Soto, the Rangers have settled their catching situation after free agent A.J. Pierzynski signed with the Red Sox.
Unfinished business: Much depends on if the Rangers sign Choo or Cruz. If they don't, the club will have to decide if it feels Choice is ready to play left field or if a veteran bat is needed as a safety net. If the Rangers go with Mitch Moreland at designated hitter, they will have to decide if they want a right-handed bat to go with him. They are still looking at bench help and starting pitching depth.
Team's bottom line: "This is the time of year where you win or lose on headlines. There are no games to be played," Daniels said. "I think it's great our fans have high expectations for us. We do, too. But our goal is to ultimately win games and win rings. We may make other impactful moves or smaller, just smart baseball moves, but we're not caught up in the hype of making headlines."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.