Jim Reeves today has a column urging the Rangers to go make a deal for a reliever...
While I've been in favor of the Rangers being pro-active to shore up their weaknesses, and while I acknowledge that the bullpen has been a huge problem, I don't think that, at this point, the Rangers need to be paying a big price to get a setup man.
Bullpens, as a general rule, can be assembled on the cheap, if a team is smart about talent acquisition. Last year's pen is a perfect example...other than Francisco Cordero, it was all a bunch of retreads and journeymen who the Rangers were able to identify and find roles for.
Even now, despite the problems the pen is experiencing, there are still viable in-house options that I think should be explored before spending big to bring in a Danys Baez or a Jose Mesa. Juan Dominguez and Kam Loe both appear to have the stuff to be capable setup men. Steve Karsay has a strong track record, and is working at AA Frisco to see if he can get back to where he was a few years ago. Joaquin Benoit and Ron Mahay are both on the d.l., but should be back before too terribly long. Even guys like Wes Littleton and Kelvin Jimenez are possible solutions in a long or middle relief role.
A true front of the rotation starting pitcher is a definite need. While I like Ricardo Rodriguez, he's a #4 starter, not a #1 or a #2. With David Dellucci and Richard Hidalgo both slumping, the DH spot is a concern, although either Jason Botts or Brandon Larson are possible in-house options.
But starting pitching and a big bat are the two areas where the Rangers should be shopping externally, and be willing to spend to get the right player. The bullpen, on the other hand, should be able to be fixed from within.