2013 Rangers Relief Pitching Preview

There’s no arguing that the Texas Rangers had one of the best relief staffs in baseball last year and when used correctly they could shut down any team. Next season shouldn’t see too many changes if the front office makes the right moves. Mike Adams, Mark Lowe and Koji Uehara are free agents. The team has already declined Scott Feldman’s large option.
First off for Texas was declining the option on Feldman. He would be owed $9.25 million next season if Texas picked it up or they could simply buy it out for $600,000, thus making him a free agent. If I were the Rangers I would now make him a low offer with the understanding that he is going to remain the long reliever. I have a feeling though that he won’t take it as he believes he can still be a starter somewhere. But what if he goes elsewhere? That’s when you make Alexi Ogando the long reliever/spot starter. He has said that he would like to be the team’s starter again, but I’m sure that Texas will bolster the starting staff via free agency and/or a possible trade.

I do not see Mark Lowe being offered a deal. He will be gone and with it any remnants of the 2010 Cliff Lee trade. Seattle still has Justin Smoak and Blake Beavan. Mike Adams may have just had surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome but I think Texas will do what they can to bring him and Koji Uehara back, especially when you consider how weak the 2013 free agent market is. There is one name to watch out for the Rangers to consider and that is Jon Rauch who pitched for the New York Mets last season. He had a 0.988 WHIP to go along with a 3.50 K/BB ratio.

So what should the bullpen look like next season?

Alexi Ogando (LR/RHP)

Robbie Ross (LHP)

Jon Rauch (RHP)

Tanner Scheppers (RHP)

Koji Uehara (RHP)

Mike Adams (RHP)

Joe Nathan (CL/RHP)

Yes, I realize that Robbie Ross is the only lefty on the proposed staff but you have to consider just how effective against left-handed hitters Uehara is. Of course you have to hope that Ron Washington also remembers how effective he is as well so we don’t see another disaster involving Derek Holland coming in out of the bullpen.

But that’s a different story for another day.

James Holland is a Senior Columnist for Shut Down Inning. He can be reached at James.Holland@shutdowninning.com or @SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.

James Holland

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