Lobby Talk: Choo price too high for Texas?

Note: Periodically during the winter meetings, we'll post some of the chatter going on in the lobby in regards to players the Texas Rangers may be interested in this week at Disney World.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- It appears the price for Shin-Soo Choo, at least right now, is in the Jacoby Ellsbury range (in terms of years and salary) and that's not a price the Rangers want to pay, according to sources. Ellsbury signed a seven-year, $153 million deal with the New York Yankees this offseason.

One source said it wouldn't be fair to say Texas was "out" on Choo, but they aren't "in" on him at the current rate. His price would have to drop for Texas to get more aggressive. The club is leaning toward Nelson Cruz, if a deal can be worked out. It's possible Cruz could end up in a position of choosing from a slightly longer-term deal with one club or taking a little less to stay with Texas. But we'll see.

The Rangers still want a power bat and Cruz fits in nicely to that plan. They know him and are comfortable with him. The question is whether Cruz's comfort with the Rangers is enough to get him to Texas in a deal that works for both sides.

Other notes:

* Whenever Cliff Lee's name is floated, it's difficult not to think of the Rangers. But beyond the pieces it might take to get him is the $25 million he's owed in 2014, the $25 million he gets in 2015 and the $27.5 vesting option for 2016 (or a $12.5 million buyout). That's a lot of money to pay a 35-year-old pitcher. It doesn't seem very likely at this point.

* The Rangers have "some" interest in Corey Hart as they canvas bats in case the bigger names fall through.

* The club has discussed Michael Morse as well. That's something we detailed in our "Hot Stove Talk" series yesterday. Read that here.

* Lots of chatter about a proposed three-way deal between the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels and Arizona Diamondbacks. Our buddy Keith Law reports that the deal would send Mark Trumbo to the Diamondbacks with Adam Eaton going to Chicago and Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs ending up with the Angels.