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.
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.