Rangers' Washington still mum on moves as winter meetings near end

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA Sports

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 5 at 6:30 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Names like "Greinke" and "Hamilton" were flying off the tongues of MLB executives Wednesday at the annual winter meetings, but among the press, the hot name was "Washington" -- as in, Texas Rangers Manager Ron.

"This is my seventh [winter meeting,] and it was the biggest [press crowd] yesterday," Washington said. "They were interested. They wanted to find out what was going on."

But there wasn't much team news for the media to chew on.

Washington said he's talked to just three players since the one-game-playoff loss to Baltimore, a setback that he said has been hard to overcome.

"Well, it was harder simply because we performed throughout the year and held first place all year and lost it on the last day," Washington said. "That's what made it harder."

The disappointment has also motivated Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels, who spends his entire day at the meetings behind closed doors trying to find the right pieces that will help Texas continue to win.

"We've got a lot of work to do," Daniels said. "We've got a lot of spots to address. We didn't look at one spot as being any bigger than the other. Everything fits -- it's like a puzzle. You have to have a complete club and you can't ignore any one area, and we're trying to do that."

The Rangers announced the signing of catcher Geovany Soto on Monday and relief pitcher Joakim Soria on Tuesday, but those are all of the moves so far. Talk about outfielder Josh Hamilton's return and interest in pitcher Zack Greinke continue.

"We have several scenarios that we're looking at, and if one thing doesn't work than what do we try to do -- we don't strictly focus on one dimension as far a player is concerned," said Rangers President Nolan Ryan. "Obviously, with the number of free agents that we've lost, we're trying to add pitching and so you know I can't say that's our sole focus, obviously, because we feel like we need to add a catcher, so were looking at any options that we can to improve the ball club."

The club may have to address the loss of Hamilton's power statistics (43 HRs, .577 slugging percentage) if the Rangers can't work out a deal with the 31-year-old outfielder.

Washington said he did not try to contact Hamilton while the outfielder was in Nashville during the meetings.

"No, I didn't," Washington said. "I haven't seen him. I haven't called him, because I want him and his family to take the time that they need. Because I do believe his heart is in Texas, but [it's] just a matter of us putting something together with him and make everything work again and we can become a family."

The meetings will end in Nashville at noon on Thursday.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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