Relief help still a focus for Rangers
The Texas Rangers addressed their needs for starting pitching and catching help last week.
The priority now is finding some more relievers.
"The bullpen is an area we’d like to add if we can," Texas general manager Jon Daniels said. "We’ve only got three left-handed relievers coming to camp in (Robbie) Ross, (Alex) Claudio and (Michael) Kirkman. It might be a situation where we’ve done this in the past and it’s something our scouts focus on. We may have our lefties in camp right now but it may be a situation where our scouts go out and identify a guy and we make a move in spring."
One move it doesn’t appear the Rangers will make is re-signing left-hander Neal Cotts. Daniels said his understanding is that Cotts will sign elsewhere. Cotts made 73 appearances for the Rangers last season and 131 over the last two years.
The three left-handers the Rangers do have in camp pitched a total of 42 games in relief for the Rangers last season and all three spent significant time in Triple A.
One pitcher who could figure in the bullpen mix is right-hander Ross Ohlendorf, who signed a minor-league deal Friday. Daniels said he likes the fact that Ohlendorf can be either a starter or reliever but no decision has been made yet as to whether he’ll go to camp as a starter. He’s made 124 appearances in the majors, 44 coming in relief.
The Rangers watched Ohlendorf pitch last week in Austin.
While the market for left-handed relief is thin there are still some solid right-handed options available.
"There aren’t many lefties out there so we’re looking at both," Daniels said. "I think there are still some interesting names out there."