The Texas Rangers missed out on some of the biggest deals in the MLB offseason. They were unable to hang on to big slugger Josh Hamilton. They could not make strong offers for big named pitchers Zack Greinke and James Shields. With the club hoping to reclaim the title of American League West champions, they seem to be missing out on key pieces to better their team. Now, Texas seem to be motivated to sign one of the remaining big named players left on the market, pitcher Kyle Lohse. Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reports the Rangers have the best chance at signing the right-handed Lohse.
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Texas has the payroll flexibility to grab another big named player off the free agent market, they just have yet to do so. An unnamed general manager notes that the Rangers have missed out on many deals and seem to be motivated to get a deal done with Lohse. While continuing to say they have no interest in signing another starting pitcher, their questionable rotation says otherwise.
The Rangers current starting rotation includes Derek Holland, Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando. They have yet to fill up the back end spot. There is a fight between several young arms to fill out the No. 5 starting pitcher role. About three pitchers are currently in the race to get the spot, but all are unproven and inconsistent. Signing Lohse could give the Rangers a proven arm and another competitive pitcher.
In 2012, Lohse ended the season with a 2.86 ERA, finishing seventh in the NL Cy Young voting. He had one of his best seasons, going 16-3, recording 143 strikeouts. The Cardinals decided they would not re-sign Lohse, making him a free agent.
The 34-year old will likely require a big contract and salary, something the Rangers may be unwilling to give. The Cardinals reportedly want a first round pick in this year's MLB Draft in return.
Adding a powerful arm like Lohse immediately put the Rangers back in the race for the AL West title. After missing out on several marquee players, it is assumed if given the opportunity, they will not let Lohse slip by.