Last week when Ken Rosenthal reported the Rangers were working the phones trying to acquire a catcher and starting rotation depth, a lot of folks questioned the validity of the rumor, especially on the starting rotation front.
Sure, they could use some depth there, but it seemed likely they'd go with reclamation project A.J. Griffin as the fifth starter until Yu Darvish returns in late May or early June.
Now, we're not so sure.
The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant reported on Thursday that the Rangers are in talks with the Indians, who are deep in the rotation, about acquiring a starting pitcher for a bullpen piece — something the Rangers have in abundance.
According to Grant's sources, the Rangers are looking to trade for one of three guys battling for spots in the back of the Indians' loaded rotation: Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin or Cody Anderson. The thought is the Rangers would shop closer Shawn Tolleson or young power arm Keone Kela, the same two guys they were talking to Arizona about this winter in other starter-for-reliever talks.
Tomlin and Anderson both had ERAs in the very low 3.00s in 10 and 15 starts, respectively, last season. Bauer, a former top prospect, is a fireballer with tremendous stuff he has trouble harnessing. He led the American League in walks last year and was demoted to the bullpen late in the year.
It'd make more sense for the Rangers to deal Tolleson than Kela based off age and projected ceiling. With the Indians in town this weekend for the final games of the exhibition series, we could see something come down before Monday's opener.