Luis Ayala: Potential Ranger Target?

Luis Ayala - J. Meric

The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly shopping righthanded reliever Luis Ayala

The Ranger bullpen is not exactly inspiring confidence this spring, and with Opening Day just six days away, there's still some uncertainty about the team's righthanded middle relief situation.

Meanwhile, in Baltimore, the Orioles are shopping 35 year old righthanded reliever Luis Ayala, apparently preferring to keep, among others, former Rangers Pedro Strop, Tommy Hunter, and Darren O'Day in their bullpen.

The linked article suggests that the Orioles could be looking for catching depth, given that their current backup catcher, Taylor Teagarden, has a history of injury problems. The Rangers could offer up Eli Whiteside, but I don't know how much interest the Orioles would have in Whiteside.

The Rangers also, of course, have a variety of interesting minor leaguers that could interest the Orioles, if they wanted to go the prospect route.

Ayala has put up a 2.40 ERA in 131 innings for the Yankees and Orioles since the start of the 2011 season, although his FIP and xFIP during that time have been closer to 4.00. Ayala is an extreme groundball pitcher who doesn't strike out many batters, and he hasn't had significant platoon splits the last couple of years.

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