Notes: Still searching for third-base coach

PHOENIX -- We're in mid-November and the Texas Rangers still don't have a third-base coach.

After Gary Pettis left to take the same job with the Houston Astros, new manager Jeff Banister wanted someone whom he knew well and maybe had worked with him previously.

General manager Jon Daniels said at the GM meetings on Tuesday afternoon that Banister is open to promoting within.

Round Rock (Triple-A) third-base coach and former major leaguer Spike Owen and former Rangers third-base coach Dave Anderson have been discussed as possible replacements. Anderson is currently the Baltimore Orioles' minor league infield instructor and was the third-base coach with Texas from 2009-12.

"We're working on it," Daniels said. "It's more important to get it right."

The new left fielder is: Daniels said the Rangers would like to add another power hitter to play left field, with Shin-Soo Choo moving to right field. The free-agent market is one place to find one and acquiring a player via trade is another, but Daniels does have options within the organization. He said Ryan Rua and Jake Smolinski will compete for the job and added a new name to the list: Mitch Moreland. He's recovering from ankle surgery and doctors said he's almost close to running fully. Moreland is more of a first baseman/DH, and if he can show some mobility after ankle surgery, he becomes a serious option in the outfield. Michael Choice has also been mentioned as a possible left fielder despite his struggles in 2014.

Rua presents an interesting option because of his ability to play the infield and outfield.

"Rua is a good athlete," Daniels said. "He just needs the benefit of experience learned playing left field on the fly last year." Daniels doesn't see Rua as the everyday left fielder but possibly as a platoon with someone, maybe more like Moreland.

Harrison's return in doubt: Rangers left-handed starter Matt Harrison is getting good reports from team doctors regarding his back. He has undergone three surgeries, two to his discs and another to his vertebra. However, Daniels is cautious regarding any possible return.

"It's been two years now," said Daniels, who noted he's rooting for Harrison's return from a personal level. "It's easy to forget he was one of the more durable starters in the American League. … That's why we signed him to that extension."

Harrison could start throwing in January, but while doctors are positive in his recovery, it's a difficult road for him to recover.

Base hits: Pitcher Alexi Ogando (elbow) will begin a throwing program next week and should pitch winter ball. ... The Rangers are out of the running for outfielder Yasmani Tomas, a Cuban defector, so they could focus their energies on pitching. Daniels dismissed the possibility of signing one of several highly priced Japanese pitchers looking to make their debuts in the States.