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Rangers sign Dave Bush

The Rangers have signed for Milwaukee Brewer pitcher Dave Bush to a minor league deal.

This is an interesting signing...Bush is the type of guy who normally you'd expect to see get at least a guaranteed contract at $4-5 million, coming off a 4.54 ERA in 31 starts.

But if you look at his numbers the last several years, his FIP and xFIP have gone up every year since 2006, with his FIP sitting at around 5.00 from 2008-10.  His LOB% and BABIP weren't any better than would be expected...his ERA was lower than his FIP last year, it appears, because of unearned runs.  He allowed 20 of them, which is exceptionally high (the Ranger press release notes it is the highest single-season figure for any pitcher in the past three years), and indicates that he was probably "lucky" in terms of his ERA.

Bush had a 0.1 WAR in 2010 and a 0.3 WAR in 2009 (using Fangraphs' numbers).  He's pretty well defined the term replacement level starting pitcher the past couple of years.

Especially with Scott Feldman supposedly not ready to go to start the season, the Rangers need pitchers like Bush and Seth McClung hanging around this spring as insurance, and Bush probably isn't going to kill you if you have to put him in the rotation, particularly with the Rangers' defense behind him.