Sep 26, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcherJerome Williams
(57) reacts during the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The hot rumor out there today is that the Rangers are very interested in bringing aging veteran pitcher Jerome Williams in to the fold. Williams has been pitching for the Rangers rival over the past three seasons, and if I am not mistaken he did not really strike fear into the hearts of Rangers fans anywhere. I am a little disappointed to be talking about this, as I made it clear I would like the Rangers to promote from within and let some of that pitching depth we always hear about try their hand at it.
I am not trying to say that if the right guy comes along that the Rangers should be dead set on using a Nick Tepesch or a Wilmer Font, but I am just not sure that, if the Rangers wind up signing Williams to a deal, that it is not a “oh no Derek Holland is hurt and we need to sign someone right now to replace him” kind of situation. I feel that jumping to sign Williams would be an overreaction to the Holland news. Nick Tepesch, who was far from stellar last season, had moments where he was acceptable and even good (see article here for more on that). Tepesch had an ERA of 4.84 with the Rangers in 2013, while Jerome Williams had an ERA of 4.57 with the Angels. Tepesch started 19 games for the Texas Rangers, while Williams started 25 for the Angels. Tepesch was 4-6 while Williams was 9-10. Over the last three seasons with the Angels Williams had a cumulative ERA of 4.46.
I am not saying that Williams would be a horrible pick up for the Rangers, I am saying that now may not be the time to rush out and hire a 32-year-old journeyman starter when you have talent in the minors and you have asked Robbie Ross and Tanner Scheppers to come to spring training prepared to fight for a starting spot. Is he decent? Yes, for sure. Is he a long-term answer? No, I think both he and the Rangers are aware of that. Williams is looking for a place to go and prove that he can still pitch at the highest level to try to get a big contract next season. All I am saying, to me, is that it seems like a bit of an overreaction to go out and get Williams. I may be wrong and he may turn out to be great, but I personally would rather see the Rangers minor league talent on display in Arlington than a guy that is looking to score big next season with another team. That is my two cents, what do you think?