SURPRISE, Ariz. (CBS SPORTS) – The Texas Rangers have remained in contact with free agent pitcher Kyle Lohse, but have resisted making an offer to date.
They have been interested in seeing their young staff perform this spring and, while it’s talented, a couple issues have cropped up — including top pitching prospect Martin Perez suffering a fractured bone in his left forearm Sunday. He could be out two months or more.
While some Rangers people were suggesting early Sunday that Lohse still remains “unlikely” for them, several factors could at least keep them in touch with Lohse and agent Scott Boras, including the status of Perez, who had been impressing them in camp to the point of establishing himself as the favorite for the fifth starter spot before being hurt. Perez, a left-hander, was struck by a line smash just above the left wrist off the bat of Mariners prospect Brad Miller, and Rangers people seemed quite concerned about him as he headed for x-rays.
Some members of the Rangers staff had been advocating for Lohse even before Perez was hurt. There’s a belief by some within the organization that Alexi Ogando might be best served by moving back to the bullpen, opening a possible spot for Lohse. However, Rangers brass has preferred to see Ogando, who made an All-Star team as a starter, remain in the rotation.
Texas higher-ups have been reluctant to go hard for Lohse for a variety of reasons, including the draft choice they would have to surrender (number 24 overall) if they signed him, and a thought that they aren’t really desperate for another starting pitcher.
One thing Texas does have going for it is its finances. Their revenues are way up following three consecutive playoff appearances (including two World Series appearances), and their payroll, just above $120 million, is about the same as last year.
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