When the Texas Rangers decided to non-tender Alexi Ogando on Tuesday night, a decision that was reportedly an 11th hour one, it didn't mean he'll never pitch for the Rangers again. It simply means Ogando can go test the free agent market and could sign with any of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball.
The Rangers could have given him somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.5 million to pitch in 2015, but it would've been a pitcher with no guarantee of health after a disabled-list plagued career in recent seasons.
If you remember, Ogando was a shutdown reliever in 2010 after being converted as an outfielder in the A's system before being converted to a starting pitcher in 2011 and making the AL all-star team before he hit a wall in the late summer and was moved back to the pen. In 2012, he was back to the bullpen and then back to the rotation in 2013 as the club's latest pitcher to jerk back and forth between the rotation and bullpen.
In 2014, Ogando pitched in just 27 games and never found it. He finished the year with a 6.84 ERA and basically made it to where Ron Washington was afraid to put him in games, a far cry from the elite reliever in 2010.
A big reason the Rangers declined to keep Ogando around reportedly was the fact he declined to pitch in winter ball after the club had expressed their desire for him to do so.
"It would have helped, just to have seen him in games," Daniels told reporters in a conference call Tuesday night. "I fully expect he's going to go to [another team's] camp without any limitations. From what we saw off the mound, live BP, he's healthy, ready to go. With the exception of this year, when Alexi's pitched, he's been effective whatever role it's been. He has had a difficult time going wire-to-wire but he's always been effective when he's been out there."
Ogando has expressed a desire to return to being a starting pitcher. In his career, he's 19-12 with a 3.40 ERA as a starter in 48 starts, but he's historically struggled to get out of the sixth inning. The Rangers are still looking for starters, and he could be back in that capacity, but at this point, it seems doubtful.