Sunday, the Texas Rangers came to an agreement on terms with free agent RHP Dave Bush. This is a Minor League contract, but he does have an invitation to Spring Training. This deal will pay Bush $1 million in base salary should he earn a spot in the Majors with another $1 million in incentives.
Last year, Bush spent his time with the Milwaukee Brewers and went 8-13 with an ERA of 4.54 over 31 starts out of 32 games of which 174 1/3 innings were pitched. Over the course of his 31 starts, 18 of those were quality starts. For his career, the right-handed pitcher is 56-68 with a 4.66 ERA in 193 games of which 184 were starts.
31-year-old Bush does get that invitation to Spring Training so it is possible that he could end up in the starting rotation. Right now, the firm starting rotation includes C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis – for sure. There are still others such as Brandon Webb, Tommy Hunter, Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman and several others that will all be competing for starting positions. Brandon Webb will likely be starting for the team if he warms up well enough. If not, it could definitely be Bush’s chance to squeeze through and make his way to starting rotation.
With that said, Bush will likely end up playing in the Majors with the Rangers this year. I really have no doubt about that. He is a very versatile, accomplished player and starter. If he doesn’t end up as a starting pitcher for the team, I think he’ll be a reliever but be available for starting should he be needed for whatever reason – including injury. So, if he doesn’t make starting rotation in Spring Training, he’ll definitely be a solid back-up pitcher that is ready to start should any type of incident occur.
With the numerous candidates they do have, I think it’ll probably be best to leave Neftali Feliz in the closer role. He does so well and can definitely increase his numbers from last year – 40 saves. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to consider him for a starting position but he would have to earn it just like anyone else wanting that starting spot.
The Rangers have added a lot of pitching depth to their team, as well as overall depth, this offseason after losing out on Cliff Lee. Maybe this all happened for a reason because if they hadn’t lost out on Cliff Lee, they wouldn’t have signed half of these guys they have thus far. I’m thinking that a few of these offseason signings may actually benefit the Rangers in the long run including the Dave Bush signing.
What do you guys think? Don’t forget, holler at me on Twitter @nascarstacy14 or on Facebook!