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Rangers Meet With Cody Ross, Checking Into Michael Bourn

By Jon Heyman
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Michael Bourn #24 of the Atlanta Braves hits a first inning triple against the San Diego Padres at Turner Field on August 14, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Michael Bourn of the Atlanta Braves hits a first inning triple against the San Diego Padres at Turner Field on August 14, 2012 (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

CBS SPORTS - The Rangers, still looking to upgrade their offense after agreeing to terms with veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski, are staying in touch with free-agent outfielder Cody Ross after having a meeting with him. But Texas is also starting to look into free-agent outfielder Michael Bourn.

The Rangers appear to be looking into several ways to improve their offense and pitching staff after losing superstar Josh Hamilton to the rival Angels and failing to land a trio of big pieces — Zack Greinke, Justin Upton and James Shields. The deal with Pierzynski, for $7.5 million for 2013, may just be the start.

Ross is said to have received a lot of interest, with the Phillies, Mariners, Red Sox and Indians hovering among the other possibilities, following a superb season in an otherwise dreary Boston year. Ross dined with Rangers decision-makers within the past few days.

A possible run at Bourn seems to be more in the infancy stages, with Texas people asking around about Bourn, who has an impeccable reputation but mostly a mystery market thus far. The Mariners are known to have interest in Bourn, while the Red Sox are a team that’s checked in as well, though their interest may depend on a trade or injury.

The Braves still seek a leadoff hitter for left field, but Bourn’s big value is as a center fielder, where zone ratings suggest he’s saved a league-best 81 runs over the past four years. The Dodgers are thought to like Bourn, but with Carl Crawford expected back at the start of the season and the Dodgers suggesting no expectation to trade Andre Ethier (despite reports, they are known to have told at least the Red Sox that Ethier is “not available”), it doesn’t appear there’s room now for Bourn in LA.

The Rangers have any number of ways they can go with their offense. While they have a very talented center-field prospect, Leonys Martin, it’s uncertain whether he’s ready. Their corner outfielders are Nelson Cruz and David Murphy as things stand.

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