Through some shrewd trades in July and some equally shrewd trades and signings this winter, the Texas Rangers suddenly have what is one of the deepest, most loaded bullpens in all of baseball.
If you just look at the names: Tolleson, Dyson, Diekman, Kela, Wilhelmsen, Barnette, Faulkner, Freeman, etc., you've got a pretty nice group there and, frankly, too many of them.
That's led to several trade rumors involving the Rangers giving up a reliever for a position of need — whether it be starting pitching or right-handed bats, most notably recent chats between the Rangers front office and the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have an abundance of starting pitching.
In speaking to Norm Hitzges during the Norm-a-thon on KTCK The Ticket Monday, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels talked about what the reliever depth gives the Rangers in term of not only depth but also flexibility.
"I think when we put the bullpen together, the thought was that, hey, we could go two ways. One, it could allow us to trade our bullpen to address another area that we need to build some depth on the team and in the organization. Or quite frankly, all these guys have options with the exception of Sam Freeman, there are a lot worse things than going to camp with too many good pitchers with not enough spots in the bullpen. And if that were to happen, I think a few guys would not be happy about having to start the season at Triple-A but we all know that we're going to need more than seven guys throughout the course of the year. So you could look at it both ways. It could be something where we trade from whether it's now, spring training or in July or it could be something where the inevitable setbacks that happen to every club, we're a little more insulated and protected from that happening."
With the trend in baseball moving toward a dominant bullpen moreso than a dominant starting rotation, you could definitely make a solid case for capitalizing on their bullpen depth, but you could also easily see them trading it for a position of need. What would you do?