The Texas Rangers have already added two starters this off-season, and might not be done. Next on the list is adding bullpen arms, and they’ve shown interest in multiple pitchers at the Winter Meetings.
According to T.R. Sullivan, the Texas Rangers met with closer Fernando Rodney at the Winter Meetings. The team has also shown interest in righty reliever Brandon Kintzler. Neither player is close to a deal with Texas, but the rumors are heating up.
Adding late inning relief help is a main focus of the Rangers organization this off-season. Hard-throwing Matt Bush and lefty Alex Claudio both have 11 career saves. That is the most among pitchers on the current Rangers’ roster.
Last season Rodney went 5-4 with a 4.23 ERA in 61 games with 39 saves on the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 40-year-old reliever is a three-time All-Star and has 300 career saves under his belt.
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The 15-year veteran has pitched with eight different organizations over the years, and has recorded at least one save every season since his rookie campaign. In 2016, Rodney posted a 0.31 ERA over 28 appearances with the Padres before being traded.
His track record speaks for itself, and Rodney could be a cheap one-year deal for the Rangers. If not, they could go a different route and sign a pitcher like Kintzler to a longer term deal. He’s coming off an All-Star campaign in 2017.
Kintzler went 4-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 72 games with 29 saves between the Minnesota Twins and Washington Nationals. He recorded just one save with the Nats, but was the ninth inning guy with Minnesota.
The 33-year-old Kintzler has 46 career saves and all of them over the past two seasons. The eight-year veteran didn’t save a game until 2016, but adapted to the role nicely. He’s drawing interest from multiple organizations, but Texas does like Kintzler.
It’s unclear whether the Rangers will sign either of these relievers. Plenty of free agents available with closing experience. One thing is for sure, the Rangers do plan on bolstering their bullpen before the 2018 season.