Rangers 'more confident' in landing Justin Upton, interested in Zack Greinke

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Justin Upton and Zack Greinke remain on Jon Daniels' radar, as Daniels continues to construct the 2013 Rangers at baseball's annual Winter Meetings.

On Tuesday, we learned that the Texas Rangers were pursuing Justin Upton -- and that Texas was willing to part with Elvis Andrus to make it happen.

Per FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Rangers are now "more confident" they'll land Justin Upton -- but that there's still a long way to go before any deal is finalized.

Reports surfaced that the Rangers are involved in talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals in a potential three or four-team trade, that would send Asdrubal Cabrera to the Diamondbacks, and send Upton to the Rangers.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted that talks reopened this morning between the Rangers, D'Backs, Indians and Rays, in a trade that would involve Upton, Cabrera and James Shields. The Rangers expressed interest in acquiring Shields earlier this week, but, it's unknown if Shields would wind up in Arlington in this scenario.

Exact specifics of the potential trades aren't known, but if Cabrera is headed to Arizona in a trade, then the Rangers would almost certainly retain Andrus. Mike Olt is likely Texas' main bait, but Derek Holland's name has surfaced in rumors as well.

If the Rangers can acquire Upton without surrendering Andrus or Jurickson Profar, then the trade will likely be a major win for the Rangers. Of course, it's possible Texas would end up overpaying, but hanging onto each shortstop should be a priority at this time for Texas.

Texas still might make a big splash on the free agent market too, which would help facilitate a potential Holland trade. ESPN's Jayson Stark tweeted that the big buzz around Nashville is that the Rangers are still very much alive on Greinke.

Greinke's suitors are likely down to two teams -- the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Rangers. With the Dodgers throwing money around like it's going out of style, it'll be difficult for Texas to outbid Los Angeles for Greinke.

Given Texas' apprehension to offer Mike Napoli a qualifying offer that would have guaranteed Napoli a one-year, $13 million dollar deal, which Napoli would have rejected in any event, it doesn't seem likely that the Rangers will be able to outbid Los Angeles on Greinke.

Maybe it's been misdirection all along from Jon Daniels, but we'll never know for sure.

The next 24 hours will certainly be interesting, as Daniels continues to shape Texas' future.

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