Evan Grant has a new Rangers newsletter up, with a bunch of stuff to talk about...
One thing that I saw that caught my eye, and I wanted to respond to, though, was Grant's listing of priorities for this team at the trade deadline. At #3, behind catcher and #1 starter, and ahead of first baseman and a righthanded OF/bench bat, Grant lists reliever, with his explanation being that the Ranger bullpen has been worked hard and you can never have too many relievers.
Personally, I'd have reliever just about at the bottom of the priority list, not because the Rangers aren't going to need fresh arms in the pen come July or August, but because the Rangers' in-house options seem to make going outside for a reliever, particularly given the likely cost, unnecessary.
Looking at potential bullpen reinforcements, the Rangers have Tanner Scheppers and Alexi Ogando, of course, guys we are expecting to see later this year. There's Pedro Strop, who profiles as a late inning guy and who is currently temporarily up, along with Doug Mathis and Guillermo Moscoso, who have spent time in the major league pen this year. There's also Omar Beltre, who has not been Scheppers or Ogando level dominant, but who has put up impressive numbers in AAA. And from the left side, there's Michael Kirkman and Zach Phillips and Clay Rapada and Ben Snyder hanging around.
Now, if you could get a quality middle-reliever or setup guy for, say, Chad Tracy and Evan Reed, some package like that, would that make sense? Sure. But the cost of quality relievers at the trade deadline is always high, and I question whether it would make sense to part with an Ogando and a Phillips, or a Scheppers and a Strop, to get a veteran reliever for the short-term who may not give you more than the guys in-house can offer.