The Texas Rangers lead the pack in the very early going of the Robinson Cano free agent sweepstakes, speculates Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York.
The Rangers may seem a strange choice at first glance; current second baseman Ian Kinsler is signed through at least the 2017 season and young Jurickson Profar is still lurking, ready to break out at any moment.
But Marchand believes that Texas has the money and #want necessary to make a "big splash" this winter, and one of his sources believes the club could just slide Kinsler over to first base if they sign Cano, effectively killing two birds with one stone.
Kinsler does not fit the profile of a prototypical first baseman -- his slugging numbers are a bit wanting -- but he would be an immediate upgrade at the cold corner over Mitch Moreland and friends, who combined for the second-worst OPS in the American League this season.
Texas reportedly checked in on acquiring Cano from the Yankees earlier in the year, but was told he was unavailable. Now that the bidding is open to all teams, things could play out a little differently. According to Marchand, behind the Rangers in the running for Cano (non-Yankees division) are the Dodgers, Phillies, Mariners and Cubs.
Cano is widely regarded as the best free agent on the market this fall, a nuance of which he seems to be well aware. It surfaced last week that the slugging second baseman is seeking a 10-year contract in the ballpark of $305 million, which, if granted, would absolutely shatter the standing record for a player contract.