Rangers GM Jon Daniels says the team could consider making a trade to improve its bullpen, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes. “The bullpen is the area we’ll look at,” he says. “Other areas, it would have to be a pretty unique situation, because we feel good about our ballclub. You always look to do better, but realistically, what’s going to be out there and whether or not it fits, I don’t know.”
The Rangers’ 4.95 bullpen ERA this season ranks ahead of that of only the Reds, although the team’s current relief corps contains a number of pitchers in the midst of successful seasons, including Jake Diekman, Matt Bush, Tony Barnette and closer Sam Dyson. Daniels indicates he’s happy with that group. He also thinks Shawn Tolleson (whose awful start has been a key to the struggles of the bullpen as a whole) will pitch better than he has so far, and he looks forward to activating Keone Kela (elbow) and Tanner Scheppers (knee) from the disabled list at some point next month. As Sullivan points out, Justin De Fratus, Kyle Lohse, Luke Jackson and Jose Leclerc, all of them currently at Triple-A Round Rock, could also be candidates to help in the future. Daniels notes, though, that the team has relied heavily on its core group of relievers, and could use an extra arm to share the load.
It’s probably too early to speculate about who the Rangers might add. Daniels says that, as is typical at this early point in the year, only a few teams have determined that they’re clear sellers. Still, the Rangers’ potential pursuit of bullpen help will be worth watching as June turns into July.