ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 21: Scott Feldman #39 of the Texas Rangers delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on August 21, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
There haven't been many seasons by pitchers more up-and-down than the one Scott Feldman had in 2012 for the Texas Rangers.
After complaining in the spring that he wanted to be a starter, Feldman went out in spring training and was lights out, putting up the best numbers on the Rangers' staff in the meaningless games only to start the season as the team's long man.
Due to the abundance of injuries the Rangers' staff suffered, that role didn't last long for Feldman, and he got his shot to start. He failed miserably out of the gates, losing six straight starts and was on the verge of being designated for assignment. Then, he turned things around and won his next six starts and kept the Rangers afloat in an otherwise putrid July, when he was named the club's player of the month.
After that, he went on to lose five straight and was on the hook to lose a sixth before his team bailed him out in a 5-4 win over the Kansas City Royals.
So to put it lightly, it was a rollercoaster of a year for Feldman, and now, he's a free agent.
The Rangers declined contract options on Feldman for $9.25 million for 2013, choosing instead to pay him a $600,000 buyout. Pretty wise choice. They also declined a $1 million option on Yoshinori Tateyama after he bounced around from Triple-A to Arlington and finished with 14 appearances for the Rangers, posting a 9.00 ERA.
Now, the Rangers will be in the market for a long man/spot starter with Feldman out of the picture, and an early frontrunner for that job could be Martin Perez, even though he could probably stand to spend some more time in the minor leagues. Look for Feldman to land elsewhere, possibly Baltimore under former manager Buck Showalter, who could make him the latest former Ranger to play for his Orioles.