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Rangers steering clear of f.a. starters this offseason

T.R. Sullivan reports that Rangers management is talking sense in regards to free agent starting pitching this offseason:

The Rangers have good reason to want to take a hard look at Volquez and Rheinecker.

The chances of getting starting pitching help this winter through the free agent market is bleak, especially with Carlos Zambrano re-signing with the Chicago Cubs this week.

"I'd say I don't envy teams that feel compelled to go to the free agent market to fill starting pitching needs," assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "I don't think we're compelled. We'll be opportunistic if the right deal is there, but I don't feel we enter the offseason feeling the need to sign free agent starting pitching."

Right now, the two best free agent pitchers could be Livan Hernandez, who is 9-7 with a 4.86 ERA for the Diamondbacks, and Carlos Silva, who is 9-12 with a 4.17 ERA for the Twins. Paul Byrd is 9-12 with a 4.41 ERA, but the Indians gave an $8 million option to him for 2008 and are expected to exercise.

Six of the most well-known potential free agent starters are currently on the disabled list: Bartolo Colon (elbow), Freddy Garcia (shoulder), Randy Wolf (shoulder), Jaret Wright (shoulder), Kenny Rogers (elbow) and Matt Clement (shoulder). Jason Jennings (elbow) and Curt Schilling (shoulder) have also been on the disabled list this year.

"There is significant risk," Levine said.

Other free agents to be that aren't mentioned by Sullivan include Jon Lieber, Livan Hernandez, Carlos Silva, and Victor Zambrano. Update [2007-8-19 21:9:26 by Adam J. Morris]: -- Well, he does mention Hernandez and Silva, but I was looking at the list of hurt guys and missed them. Sorry.

Realistically, the Rangers shouldn't be dipping their toes in the free agent starting pitching market this offseason.

At this point, Millwood, Padilla, McCarthy, and Gabbard are probably locked in to the 1 thru 4 slots in the rotation, leaving Kam Loe, Edinson Volquez, and Eric Hurley vying for the #5 slot.

There's a few guys on the list I'd have mild interest in on a one or two year deal, but I don't think there's anyone there that you'd want to pay retail for.