Looking At Potential Rangers SP Targets
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers have been in talks with Cleveland about a deal that would send one of the Rangers’ major league relievers to the Indians, for one of Cleveland’s back end starters. With 2014 Cy Young winner and Coppell product Corey Kluber and 29-year-old Carlos Carrasco leading the rotation, the Indians have a few starters they may be willing to part with for the right price. In light of Cleveland being in Arlington for a two-game exhibition tune up, Here are the three options I believe the Rangers have:
Josh Tomlin-RHP 19th Round Pick in 2006
Tomlin is slated to be the fifth starter for Tribe. He has bounced around in the Indians organization, starting games in Low-A, AA, AAA, and the majors last season. In ten starts last season, Tomlin gave up just eight walks and struck out 57 in 65.2 innings. Tomlin, another FB heavy pitcher, also features a cutter, curve, and a changeup. His curveball is his most efficient pitch, with a pitch value of 5.8. He throws his fastball 53% of the time topping out at about 89 MPH and gives up lots of fly balls. At age 31, Tomlin, in my opinion, is the least likely of the three to be moved to Texas due to his age and limited upside.
Cody Anderson– RHP 14th Round Pick in 2011
Anderson is set to be the fourth starter in the Indians rotation according to Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal. He struggled in AA in 2013 and ’14. But in 2015, he got his walk rate down from 8% to 5% and home run rate down from 15% to 5%. However, his strikeout rate went down considerably. It went from 18% in AA and 23% in AAA to just 12% in the big leagues. Anderson is mainly a fastball/changeup pitcher, mixing in a slider and the occasional curveball. His fastball sits at about 92, which is presentable for the kind of starter the Rangers are looking for. If he were qualified, he’d sit 24th in the league in FB pitch value. In 15 starts last year, Anderson was very respectable, finishing the year with an impressive 3.05 ERA in 91.1 innings of work. The question surrounding this potential acquisition would be if the Rangers are willing to give up one of their premier bullpen arms for a guy with limited major league experience.
Trevor Bauer– RHP 1st round Pick in 2011
Bauer did not make the rotation out of camp but has the kind of stuff that can make any big league manager want to work with him. Known for marching to his own beat and being a little out there, Bauer struggled in his first two full seasons in the majors, posting a 4.55 ERA, 4.33 FIP, 4.0 walks and 1.2 homers per game last season. When Bauer doesn’t walk people, he can get through an outing based on his breaking pitches, which were his most successful. Once considered a top prospect, Bauer still has the makeup of someone who can be a very good starter in the league if he can get his command under control. Bauer is the most intriguing of the three options to me, and would provide the most competition for A.J. Griffin at the back end of the Rangers’ rotation.
The Rangers would benefit from having one of these three guys in the organization, to provide some protection behind Griffin until Yu Darvish returns. Nick Martinez and Chi Chi Gonzalez are next in line at the moment but there are plenty of questions surrounding both of them. Anderson started last night against Texas, going 6.2 innings with three hits, and an earned run – a homer by Ryan Cordell. Danny Salazar is making the start for Cleveland today, with first pitch at 1:05.