ATLANTA - APRIL 11: Pitcher Joel Hanrahan #38 of the Washington Nationals throws in relief against the Atlanta Braves April 11, 2009 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Even though Neftali Feliz appeared to have cured his temporary demons with a two-out save on Sunday against Philadelphia after two straight blown saves, the Rangers are still lacking in the back end of the bullpen.
There really isn't a bona fide set-up man in the Rangers bullpen. There's Darren Oliver and Arthur Rhodes. There's Mark Lowe, who appears to have found something since being optioned to Triple-A and returning to Arlington. But there still isn't a solid option.
Multiple media reports are saying the Texas Rangers are interested in Pittsburgh Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan, who has quietly put together a stellar season for a mediocre at best team. He's converted all 13 of his save opportunities this year and he's still under contract until 2013, meaning the Rangers would hold his rights for a couple of years.
You know what that means.
Hanrahan would become the team's closer next season to facilitate a permanent move to the starting rotation for Neftali Feliz, who was stretched out in the spring with ideas of making him a starter but was ultimately returned to the bullpen. But the potential there is limitless.
Possible trade bait from the Rangers to the Pirates would start with Chris Davis, who was optioned back to Triple-A on Monday with the return to the bigs of Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton. The Pirates are managed by former Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle, who might have some sort of invested connection with Davis.
Make no mistake, the Rangers will acquire a reliever before the trade deadline in July. It might be Hanrahan. It might not. But he would be a great addition to a struggling back end of the bullpen.