Although the starting rotation has been turning in a long string of great starts, there is always a need to add more depth to a rotation. A pitcher that the Texas Rangers were reportedly interested in this offseason, Dillon Gee, has become available for little cost to the Rangers. Gee was recently designated for assignment and after the New York Mets failed to find a suitable trade for the right-handed starting pitcher, placed him on outright waivers. Adam Rubin of ESPN.com stated that the Mets made this move “for the purpose of sending him to Triple-A Las Vegas.”
Any team can now claim Gee off waivers until 1 pm EST on Tuesday before Gee clears and will be moved to Las Vegas. The biggest thing that will keep Gee from being claimed is the $3.1 million he is owed over the rest of the season. He signed a one year, $5.3 million deal this past offseason to avoid arbitration.
While the Texas native has struggled this season, with a 0-3 record and a 5.90 ERA in 39.2 innings, he has had some successful starts to go along with his struggles. In a span of three starts ranging from the end of April to the first week of May, Gee gave up just four runs across 19.2 innings highlighted by a 7.2 inning performance against the Miami Marlins in which he gave up just one run. With the starting rotation starting to fill with their young talent, the Mets moved Gee to the bullpen for one game against the San Francisco Giants in which he gave up one run on three hits in 1.2 innings.
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The Rangers have been having success this month with starting pitchers but I can see them taking a look at claiming Gee by tomorrow’s deadline. The Rangers have been steadily improving and catching up with the division leading Houston Astros. If they are able to catch up and start to make a push for the playoffs in the upcoming months, it would be nice to have a player such as Gee in the minors as a backup plan if one of the starters goes down. While Matt Harrison, Martin Perez, and Derek Holland all are on their way back towards the team, history has taught us that just because a player is rehabbing and close to making the team does not mean they will last very long.
The main downside, as mentioned above, is that Gee is an expensive contingency plan. Paying $3.1 million to a pitcher that may not throw a ball for the major league club is a heavy price tag. With pitchers like Anthony Ranaudo and Ross Detwiler able to make spot starts as needed, there is little chance the team would need that many starters in waiting. The team can also consider other internal options such as Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, or an early appearance of top prospect Jake Thompson.
While picking up Gee may have been an idea tossed around during the offseason, taking him and his big contract now does not make sense for this team. They are in a good spot now with the pitchers they have now and with Gee having previously shown he wants to be a starting pitcher in the big leagues, this would not bode well for team chemistry.