6:21pm: Rangers GM Jon Daniels acknowledges that the team has received interest in pen arms and would consider dealing one if it could make upgrades elsewhere on the major league roster, Grant tweets.
3:38pm: The Rangers have been discussing closer Shawn Tolleson in trades with other clubs, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. While Grant gives no indication that the team is shopping Tolleson, he does point out that the Rangers have a fairly deep bullpen featuring solid arms such as Keone Kela, Jake Diekman, Sam Dyson and Tom Wilhelmsen, so the team could potentially afford to part ways with a reliever. Texas’ offseason priorities include another rotation arm and a power-hitting right-handed bat, Grant adds.
Tolleson’s name is a new entry to the possible market for clubs looking for late-inning relief help. The 27-year-old has quietly emerged as an upper-echelon relief arm over the past two seasons, totaling 144 innings of 2.88 ERA ball for the Rangers. Tolleson has averaged 9.1 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 to go along with a ground-ball rate of about 41 percent in his past two seasons. He also served as the Rangers’ primary closer in 2015, converting 35 of the 37 opportunities with which he was presented.
Tolleson is arbitration eligible for the first time this winter and projects to earn $2.6MM, per MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz. He can be controlled through the 2018 season via the arbitration process before hitting the open market. The Astros, Nationals, Blue Jays and Dodgers have all been recently connected to bullpen upgrades in some capacity.