The Rangers appear to have their sights set on top Cuban prospect Julio Pablo Martinez.
On Wednesday, the Rangers executed a deal with the Cincinnati Reds to acquire a reported $350,000 in international slot money.
Martinez can sign with any team March 6 after being granted free agency Tuesday. The Rangers are believed to have the most slot money available and are a favorite to land the 21-year-old Cuban center fielder.
"From a philosophical standpoint, we want to gain flexibility and put ourselves in position when opportunity comes available," Rangers assistant GM Jayce Tingler said.
Texas, which was a finalist in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes, had gathered a large pool of international slot money in pursuit of the Japanese star.
According to an MLB.com write-up on Martinez:
Martinez earned spots on Cuba's 18U junior team in 2014 and '15. More recently, he played in the Cuban Serie Nacional during the '16-17 season and posted a .333/.469/.498 slash line with six home runs and 24 stolen bases in 61 games.
Don’t expect him to compete with Delino DeShields for time in center field in Arlington, though. Even as a heralded prospect, he’s projected to start in High-A or Double-A ball.
Texas acquired the international slot compensation by dealing 20-year-old Miguel Medrano to the Cincinnati Reds. The Rangers signed Medrano in 2016. He went 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 10 starts for the Rangers’ Dominican Summer League 2 team last year.