With the Rangers heading into the offseason in dire need of starting pitchers, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News runs down several options they could consider in the coming months. Red Sox pending free agent Nathan Eovaldi is among them, and the Rangers “have always liked him,” Grant writes. The 28-year-old returned from 2016 Tommy John surgery to post a 3.81 ERA/3.60 FIP with 8.19 K/9, 1.62 BB/9 in 111 regular-season innings between Tampa Bay and Boston. While Eovaldi could be a realistic offseason target for the Rangers, the same may be true of Giants left-hander Derek Holland, who’d “love” to return to Texas, according to Grant. Holland – who, like Eovaldi, is a soon-to-be free agent – was a Rangers draft pick in 2006 who had a largely successful run with the franchise through 2016. After a couple down campaigns, the 31-year-old has revived his career in San Francisco, where he has put up a 3.61 ERA/3.89 FIP with 8.88 K/9 and 3.51 BB/9 in 169 1/3 frames this season.
- Rangers outfielder Nomar Mazara may undergo right thumb surgery after the season, Grant reports. The thumb has troubled Mazara throughout the second half of the season, including when he sat out from mid-July through mid-August, and has likely played a role in his poor post-All-Star break production. After recording a .789 OPS in the first half of the season, Mazara’s down to .679 in the second half. Texas will know more on the 23-year-old after he visits a hand specialist Tuesday.
- Assuming he’s healthy, Mazara’s sure to once again occupy a starting spot in the Rangers’ outfield next season. There’s uncertainty in center field, though, as Grant points out. While Delino DeShields has been excellent in the field, his offense has been woeful. And slugger Joey Gallo, who has played some center of late, may not be a long-term fit there. “I don’t think I’m a center fielder,” Gallo said. “But I’m not against it. It definitely affects you physically. But it also gives you a lot more value. Can I do it? I’ve already done it this year. I do think it adds to what I can do to help a team win.” Along with Deshields and Gallo, Texas has Carlos Tocci and Scott Heineman among its in-house options, and general manager Jon Daniels suggested the team could add center field help over the winter. Regardless, it seems he’s prepared to field inquiries for the outfielders already on hand. “I feel like the outfield is an area of depth,” he said. “I think it’s an area we will get hit on [by trade requests] this winter. Everything is interconnected.”