Thad Levine On Bullpen, Feliz, Moreland

The Rangers are looking to bolster their pitching this offseason, assistant GM Thad Levine said today in Milwaukee. Here are more details from MLBTR’s conversation with Levine, who represented the Rangers in place of GM Jon Daniels:

  • Though the Rangers aren’t married to the idea of acquiring left-handed relievers, they’d like to add bullpen depth in some form. Southpaws Darren Oliver and Mike Gonzalez are on the free agent market and the Rangers would welcome either one back under the right circumstances.
  • Ideally, they’ll add relievers who can retire hitters on both sides of the plate, rather than highly specialized players.
  • The Rangers developed Neftali Feliz as a starting pitcher and they’re “very open" to moving him to the rotation, Levine said. The Rangers are confident in their ability to shift certain relievers to the rotation after converting C.J. Wilson in 2010 and Alexi Ogando in 2011.
  • “In the event that the starting pitching market doesn’t play out like we hope, [converting Feliz to the rotation] is certainly an alternative and if we go that route, we’d probably want to try to address the bullpen,” Levine said. The Rangers intend to convert Feliz to the rotation, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols lurk as alternatives for large-market teams without fully established first basemen, but the Rangers aren’t at all concerned with Mitch Moreland, according to Levine. “We consider the setback much more injury-related than performance-related,” Levine said, noting that Moreland played through wrist tendinitis in 2011.


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43 Comments on "Thad Levine On Bullpen, Feliz, Moreland"


BradyAndersonsSideburns
3 years 8 months ago

who needs Pujols when you have Mitch ****ing Moreland!

3 years 8 months ago

considering mitch makes $500K a year compared to what Pujols and Fielder are going to rake in…they’ll take their chances. It’s not like the Rangers are hurting for offense.

3 years 8 months ago

so you don’t think they can get better? after all, they ARE the 2 time defending world champions a 3-pete IS innevitable!

Seiously though, we are NOT WS contendors except in our luckiest days. In 2012 we can’t sit around and watch the tide in mlb change and be left out AGAIN. We may be close, but that still means we are still one player (and another miracle) away. We’d be ok to stay put, there is no gaurantee if we do make a move it’ll pay off. But I think it’s pretty obvious we COULD be better, and that starts with 1b and our missing ace. Perhaps RF depth could be had.

Tko11
3 years 8 months ago

Why not invest in pitching? Lost Cliff Lee, probably going to lose Wilson. You cant always lose your ace and hope that another just comes along. They need CJ back in my opinion. Hes probably the closest thing out there to an ace. Hopefully Feliz works out as a good starter and not a joba chamberlain like failure. Their offense is already good, bullpen is pretty good as well, the only thing they really need are starters. 

3 years 8 months ago

one of the best era’s in 2011? best bullpen era after the break? As a unit they’re VERY strong and VERY deep. I hear ya about the revolving door thing, but I’m not sure if I’d concider CJ a sure thing, He’s just been lucky with a solid defense behind him and outstanding health. While sure, outstanding health MAY be quantifiable and make you a somewhat reliable arm like Livan Hernandez (the freak xD) but I don’t think anybody’s considered him an ace since his days of El Duque. He’s just a guy who gets out there every 5 days and gets it done. Coming from someone who watches most of his starts, CJ is in that realm and he doesn’t posses the intangibals to make the jump to true ace. Not unless he magicaly finds 2mph on his fast ball or a reliable curve or something, as is he’s not even close. Perhaps the best out there, but don’t be fooled by his consistency this year, 10-15 mil, but not ace material, not even future ace material.

Anyway the system is SO deep as you painted, a revolving door at ‘ace’ is certainly possible. Texas may never have a true ace, but over 162 games, they will always have an elite starting lineup. At least for a number of years. With no moves I could see the next year Derrek Holland or Alexi Ogando taking the 1 position than there’s upcoming arms like Martin Perez and Neil Ramirez. They have no ace to offer but a ton of guys that will get it done.

I do believe, however IF they did get that guy that is a true ace the guys who ‘get it done’ will step up and show some real tallent BUT… until an actual one shows up in FA there’s little use lookin. CJ won’t be able to do it himself. I believe the best candidates would be Oswalt or Brandon Webb and both have significant health issues.

Tko11
3 years 8 months ago

They really dont need offense though, I dont know why people want them to go after someone like Fielder. Since they signed Nathan today, Feliz is most likely a starter now. Not sure how he will work out considering pitching 60 innings or how many ever he pitched to around 200 is a big leap. I know he was a starter before but that was like 2 years ago? If he does as well as he did in the pen, he may be that ace in a year or two. They should try to get Oswalt for cheap if possible. He can make his return to Texas and provide them with a nice veteran presence in the rotation.

Allie Coosh
3 years 8 months ago

Take a look at Mitch’s splits before the injury and after. He was a plus 300 hitter before and a sub 250 hitter after. Mitch didn’t suddenly become a bust, but with a busted wing, you can only do so much. The Rangers didn’t announce the injury so pitchers wouldn’t attack him inside, but eventually it became apparent. Doctors told them that only an extended rest, more than a couple of months, would be required to fully heal. At .5m versus 30m, I’d rather put the money elsewhere than acquiring Pujols or Fielder. Our offense almost won us the series. Our bullpen got us there, but failed us in the end.

3 years 8 months ago

You make too much sense…thank you.

Shawn Ryu
3 years 8 months ago

Rangers offense is already dynamic no point spending 200mil to bring in Pujols or Fielder.

3 years 8 months ago

Exactly!

3 years 8 months ago

They need to make the decision to move Feliz to the rotation now instead of later before all the good closers are taken off of the market.

jwsox
3 years 8 months ago

ogando or adams would more than likely move into the closer spot if they move neftali to the rotation. To be honest the rangers could get away without adding anyone this off season, with exception to an infielder and out fielder on the bench..moving neftali to the rotation solves the CJ wilson spot (maybe he puts up similar numbers, maybe better, but i highly doubt there is a large drop off) Adams closes(again not much of a drop off)

power as we all know is not a problem for them. Hopefully Napoli finally showed a manager that he needs to get 600 at bats in a season. And besides Ogandos collapse, and wash using him 3 days in a  row after his first collapse, their pen was really good last season and in the play offs. Losing CJ might actually be good for them because two years in a row he was bad in the post season, he just seems like he isnt a big game pitcher.

3 years 8 months ago

I disagree.  The pen is what cost us the Series.  They need to add a lock down closer and two other very good pieces.  If Ogando had not been in the pen it would have looked less than stellar earlier in the postseason as well.

sftxfan
3 years 8 months ago

I disagree you move Feliz to the rotation and move Ogando to the pen you still have a spot open. If they move Feliz to the rotation I think that means Adams is the closer and they go and get a power arm for a setup role and they leave Ogando in the rotation. All the talk coming from the Rangers about moving Feliz is about how successful they were in moving CJ and Ogando to the rotation so I think he (Ogando) is there to stay.

3 years 8 months ago

taking away our closer would take away our strength in the seventh and eighth innings. Not sure I’d want to rely on Gonzalez or Lowe and CERTAINLY not Oliver again.

3 years 8 months ago

They are waiting to see what happens with CJ. I have serious doubts that they want any of those high-priced closers anyway. Adams can close and tehy can get some middle relievers and set-up men cheaper.

3 years 8 months ago

If thad had had one of those high priced closers they would be WS champs right now.  They had better be willing to go after one of them.

3 years 8 months ago

It’s that guaranteed that one of either Bell, Madsen, or K-Rod would have closed it out huh?
Last I checked there are no guaranteed wins in sports.

3 years 8 months ago

Yes, I suppose a bird could have flown into the closer’s head and distracted him so much he would have lost it.  Of course anything is possible, but in all liklihood we would have won it with a lock down closer.  Anyone paying attention could see that.

3 years 8 months ago

I have faith in Neftali as a closer…in the end Cruz should have made the catch.

3 years 8 months ago

There is enough blame to go around for both Feliz and Cruz.

kevmill21
3 years 8 months ago

or andrus or young or oliver or anyone else.  how many closers are considered more lock down than neftali.  all it is is track record.  let him make his.  papelbon was the next rivera in the playoffs, then the angels took a dump on him in 09.  

Triple Hawpes Brewed
3 years 8 months ago

Rangers rotation needs help. Replacing C.J. Wilson with Feliz isn’t going to cut it.

jwsox
3 years 8 months ago

cant be too sure Feliz had an awesome spring training but because the back of their rotation was not set/ unstable they moved him back to closer before last season. He was drafted/ signed as a starter and moved to the pen to get him to the bigs faster. He has proven he can handle big league hitters. Even at 75% he is better than 100% of CJ

Triple Hawpes Brewed
3 years 8 months ago

I wouldn’t count on that rotation putting up the numbers they did last season.

3 years 8 months ago

I’d love to hear your theory?

3 years 8 months ago

Our rotation was helped by two minor miracles, a ton of double plays and excellent health not one starter sustained a dl trip. Perhapse Elvis will improve his concentration on routine plays, but I doubt Ian will be quite so solid next year, I mean he was almost perfect!

You can make the argument that the new balanced schedule will favor the Rangers greatly though…

kevmill21
3 years 8 months ago

that was the theory after 2010.  why not throw it around again?

3 years 8 months ago

I think 25/30 teams would say their rotation needs help. There are only so many aces to go around.
We need to see what Feliz can do. It’s not like we’re desperate for help. We went to the WS again with the rotation that everyone said wasn’t good enough.
I think Lewis, Holland, Harrison, Ogando, and Feliz is a pretty good rotation by most standards.

3 years 8 months ago

As a lifelong rangers fan I have faith in Mitch next year.. Really pray for a big trade for an established ace though cuz Cj is going to be gone! Maybe a Danks trade or pickup
/buerle/darvish/bell

jwsox
3 years 8 months ago

I’m a whitesox fan and would be sad to see danks go, but it makes to much sense. The sox can deal from an area of depth and strength. Not to familiar with the rangers farm, what do you think they would realistically give up for danks(assuming he might agree to an extension prior to trade seeing as he is from texas) I would guess kenny might start off by asking for holland(we have seen the rangers deal high potential starters before, i mean come on the dealt hunter for a BP arm, how many times do you see a starter moved for a BP guy)

Rusty Greer Fan Club
3 years 8 months ago

rangers have said before that holland is untouchable maybe a guy like martin perez or tanner scheppers and a position player not named mike olt or jurickson profar

3 years 8 months ago

C’mon man! Perez, Profar, or Olt? No way! All of those guys are worth more than Danks. If any of those guys get moved it’ll only be for an ace.

Rusty Greer Fan Club
3 years 8 months ago

that’s why i said not profar or olt if it was scheppers you’d have to throw in a position player that is not one of those two if it was perez you only do it if it’s a straight up trade maybe some cash. As far as danks not being impressive I agree he’s not an ace but we don’t need an ace we need an innings eater who can get wins and i believe mike maddux could help him become that… for the right price

3 years 8 months ago

I didn’t see the not, my apologies. I agree with you, but I think i’d rather keep Scheppers to pitch in the bullpen than trade him in a package for Danks. He needs to consistently stay healthy though. If Julio Borbon can re-establish his value he’d be a good fit for the White Sox.
When I went to go see the Rangers play the White Sox this year in Chicago, all the fans I talked to were in agreement of their hatred for Alex Rios…and his contract.

jwsox
3 years 8 months ago

Wouldnt mind borbon, he seemed like he had a ton of potential as a obp/ high avg/ great speed/ good D lead off/#2  center fielder but his stock has dropped so much he wasent even the 4th or 5th outfielder for the rangers for most of the season, i mean freaking endy chavez was the reserve out fielder.

If he was not the center piece of the deal then yes, him along with a blue chipper(pitcher, infielder, outfielder doesnt matter just one blue chipper)

And yes we all hate rios, he had a great half season last year..then just seemed like he didnt care…oddly enough Andru Jones really pushed rios last season(coming in the spring training saying he was the best center fielder the whitesox had) His contract wouldnt be so bad if he would just play to his freaking potential. Even if he would just play defense year round like he has shown in flashes his contract wouldnt be bad. But thats besides the point yes us whitesox fans hate him…Jordan Danks has nothing but screw him self, Mitchell is working back from a serious injury so there is no real CF help in the system…Deaza and Lilibridge are good players but both i feel would be best suited splitting at bats(probably what will happen)

3 years 8 months ago

Holland? No sir, he’s untoachable and a necessary piece to our rotation. There would be no point in replacing Holland with Danks.
We dealt Hunter because we thought we were getting one of the better relievers in the game. The Rangers knew Hunter’s ceiling and were very comfortable dealing him.

Outside of 2008 Danks has been highly unimpressive. I don’t think the Rangers would offer anything significant for him. He’s no better than anyone we currently have.

jwsox
3 years 8 months ago

09 WAR 2.9  10 WAR 4.3  last year WAR 3.2 not unimpressive at all

Rusty Greer Fan Club
3 years 8 months ago

yeah i really like the idea of trading for danks if we can’t sign buerhle because i’m pretty sure I read he’s been the 4th best lefty in the AL over the past few years. To reference you post above about borbon though I don’t see the rangers giving up a blue chipper with him because he has shown he can perform very well at the major league level (albeit not that consistently). I don’t know what the real needs are in the white sox system but the rangers have a deep farm system with a lot of young guys with high ceilings at pretty much every position so I think a trade could definitely happen if both teams worked at it.

MrBaseball29
3 years 8 months ago

Yanks > Rangers

3 years 8 months ago

Have you watched baseball since 2009?

seanb1223
3 years 8 months ago

Three years ago, yeah. Now? Not so much.

3 years 8 months ago

I believe its time to part ways with CJ Wilson, he definitely was not an asset in the playoffs. Why not take the opportunity to sabotage some other team with CJ on their playoff roster maybe it will be the Yankees or Angeles?