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Rangers get James Baldwin, Kevin Gryboski

T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers have acquired pitchers James Baldwin and Kevin Gryboski.


If you look up scrub in the dictionary, you'll see a picture of James Baldwin. As a starter from 1996-2002, he posted an ERA+ over 100 twice -- a 111 in 2000, and a 106 in 1996. He had cameos as a reliever in Minnesota in 2003 and in Baltimore this year, and was shelled in two starts for the Mets in 2004. Oh, and he's homer-prone.

He's a garden variety mediocre-to-bad starting pitcher...however, he was also apparently just a waiver claim, and thus didn't cost anything in terms of prospects, and will cost almost nothing in salary. As a stop-gap measure for the club while Kenny Rogers is suspended, he's a better option than running C.J. Wilson or Lou Pote out there.

Meanwhile, Gryboski is more interesting. A 31 year old, he's put up a career 3.32 ERA in four major league seasons, all pitching out of the Atlanta Brave bullpen. His K/BB ratio is awful -- he's walked almost as many as he's struck out during his career -- but he's allowed only 11 homers in 168 innings pitched.

His splits are weird...even though he is righthanded, he's held lefties to a much lower batting average (.237, vs. .291 for righties) and a lower rate of homers, but he's also averaged almost a walk an inning against lefties, while posting a fairly respectible K/BB rate against righties.

All in all, Gryboski should be a useful spare part for the bleeding Ranger bullpen, and allow Juan Dominguez to stay in AAA and work in the rotation there.

To get Gryboski, the Rangers traded Matt Lorenzo, their 5th roudn pick in the 2003 draft. Lorenzo was hit hard at Frisco earlier this year, but has pitched decently since being sent back to the California League, and the Braves may view him as a decent project as a future reliever. Nevertheless, he's a fringe prospect for the Rangers, and a small price to pay to shore up the pen.

Neither move is going to make a huge impact on the team, but both of them are decent pickups at reasonable prices, and given the team's situation right now, I think both are good moves.