The Texas Rangers announced Wednesday evening that first baseman Mitch Moreland will need a recovery period of 8-12 weeks after undergoing surgery to remove the pisiform bone from his right wrist.
It’s impossible to know if Moreland will be game-ready when the Rangers’ spring-training schedule begins, raising an obvious question: Could the uncertainty surrounding Moreland’s immediate future nudge the Rangers into a more serious pursuit of free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder?
Right now, at least, it appears the answer is no, particularly given the existence of in-house contingencies Michael Young and Mike Napoli.
The Rangers have interest in Fielder, sources say, but CEO/president Nolan Ryan downplayed the possibility of signing Fielder or Albert Pujols for seven or eight years in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram earlier this offseason. Sources describe Fielder as not high on the Rangers’ priority list, citing a more pressing need to upgrade the rotation and bullpen. Texas is keeping tabs on free-agent starters Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson.
The Brewers, Cubs, Mariners and Nationals are among the teams with interest in Fielder, sources say.
At this point, the Rangers are not seriously courting Pujols, sources say.
-- Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal