With the depleted pitching staff, especially the starting rotation, the Texas Rangers are involved in whispers of trade rumors for adding another starting pitcher.
Yes, they just added Roy Oswalt, but when Scott Feldman and mystery pitcher #3 are starting games for you and you’re a contending team, you add somebody. That’s what contending teams do. They have a hole? They patch it. Contenders don’t let Scott Feldman and Michael Kirkman start games for them.
That’s the logic that leads to these trade rumors (or whispers is perhaps a better term). And that logic is very, very flawed.
There is no need to give up assets for Zach Greinke, Cole Hamels or Matt Garza. Yes, they are probably better than most options Texas has but the Rangers don’t need to patch those holes. Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz will be back this season. All of their injuries have them coming back by August. Out of those three, if you consider Oswalt as well, two will be going to the bullpen. That leaves a starting rotation of Holland, Oswalt, Yu Darvish, Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison. In the bullpen, Kirkman and Tanner Scheppers will probably be sent down, and most likely Yoshinori Tateyama. That would leave Mike Adams, Joe Nathan, Feliz, Ogando, Robbie Ross, Koji Uehara and Mark Lowe in the bullpen. You have Scott Feldman as well so something has got to give.
Adding another pitcher means that Texas will have to lose another pitcher or move another pitcher for something else. This team does have holes in it – their bench could use a little bit of depth as we get into the dog days of Summer especially when looking at their fifth outfielder and utility infielder. They have pitching that could patch those holes.
Basically, every move the Rangers make to build the pitching staff hurts them in the long run. They risk putting one of their marketable assets on waivers or limiting their value in a trade when everybody knows they have to move one. So, yes, while it may be better to get Scott Feldman back to relief work and not have him start games, it’s not as easy as making a move and getting a starter. If you look at the history of baseball, moves that are uniquely short sighted have the biggest long term impacts. And they are not very positive.
We’ve said it before here: A team is never as bad as its worse stretch or as good as its best. The Rangers struggled through the month of May and the early part of June. After back-to-back wins (and two great pitching performances) the tide may be turning. If it is, expect these whispers to just go away.