I keep seeing suggestions that the Rangers have to trade for bullpen help if they want to be playoff contenders...
Here's the problem, though...the Ranger pen currently consists of:
The 8 man pen is a temporary situation, though...the Rangers have been bouncing their fifth starters back and forth between the majors and AAA, but a 7 man pen is going to be the norm.
Littleton will go back down when Rheinecker gets called up, and then Antonio Alfonseca will likely replace Rheinecker until a 5th starter is needed again, at which point Feldman will get sent down (unless someone is hurt).
That leaves a pen of:
In addition, the Rangers have Fabio Castro, who is going to have to come back before too long, and Frankie Francisco, who is about to start a rehab assignment and is likely to be up by the end of June, although he also has options remaining, so he could be sent to the minors once his rehab assignment is up.
Keeping in mind that 1) the team is almost certainly going to keep two lefties in the pen, and 2) the team is probably not going to get rid of Francisco Cordero, how do you make room for another setup man in the pen?
Bauer is somewhat expendable, but he's likely to be dropped when either Castro or Francisco returns. Plus, the team needs a long reliever.
You could put Benoit in the long reliever role, but you still have Otsuka, Cordero, Alfonseca, Mahay, and Wilson (or some other lefty, if not him), plus either Castro or Francisco.
So any deal to bring a reliever in, barring an injury, is probably going to have to involve sending Joaquin Benoit out.
And maybe folks are fine with doing that...but is the difference between whatever reliever is brought in, and either Scott Feldman or Wes Littleton (or Benoit), really going to be worth giving up Joaquin Benoit, plus a prospect or two?
I don't think it is.