Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Sean Doolittle would be a wonderful pickup for the Rangers. Doolittle is a former All-Star and is coming off a strong 2016 campaign with Oakland.
In 2016 Doolittle went 2-3 3.23 ERA in 44 games with 4 saves. The former All-Star closer has 33 career saves, but would not be the closer in Texas. He would be an adequate replacement for Diekman though.
Doolittle has five years of Major League experience and could be a lock-down member of the Rangers bullpen. Doolittle has experience as a set-up type pitcher with 60 career holds and the prior closer work is an extra bonus.
Signed through 2018 with an option for 2019 and 2020 Doolittle is a long-term investment. Owed $2.6 million in 2017 and owed $4.3 million in 2018, a small salary for an elite pitcher if Doolittle can stay healthy.
The Athletics are rebuilding their organization and Doolittle could be a piece Oakland attempts to move for prospects. Heading into his age 30 season, Doolittle is likely not going to be part of the Athletics future. A possible trade with Texas makes sense for both organizations.
This transaction would mean the Rangers could have Doolittle until at least 2019. Diekman should only be out until about mid-season of 2017. Although no one has ever complained about having too much depth.
Doolittle is a strong left-handed option for the 7th or 8th inning. He also could be a potential option as closer if needed. The Rangers might have to give up a bit more than they want to, but Doolittle is an elite left-handed bullpen piece.