The Texas Rangers, frustrated by the thin trade market for starting pitchers, are increasing their focus on relievers and hitters, according to major-league sources.
Cleveland Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo is one hitter in whom the Rangers have interest, sources said. But the Rangers are casting a wide search, and were not yet believed to be close to any trades.
The Indians are reluctant to trade Choo, who would be difficult for them to replace in the leadoff spot. However, Choo's time with the club likely is limited; he is under club control only through next season, and his agent, Scott Boras, generally prefers his clients to establish their values on the free-agent market.
The Rangers, heavily right-handed in their lineup, would prefer a left-handed hitter such as Choo. The addition of a lefty bat would help protect them against continued regression by Josh Hamilton and/or Hamilton's departure as a free agent at the end of the season.
The team, deep in major-league ready prospects, was the runner-up to the Los Angeles Angels for Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke. The Indians likely would want pitching that could help them this season and beyond.
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