Texas Rangers rumors: Vidal Nuno of the Arizona Diamondbacks has been the subject of trade talks between the Rangers and D-Backs, according to Ken Rosenthal on Twitter.
Rosenthal's source is quoted as saying that he doesn't think a deal is going to happen, but it suggests that the Rangers are continuing to look high and low for a potential longman/spot starter type to help fill out the bullpen. Six players -- Neftali Feliz, Shawn Tolleson, Keone Kela, Sam Freeman, Roman Mendez, and Logan Verrett -- apparently have spots in the Opening Day bullpen, but one spot remains open, and the Rangers may be looking to fill that role from outside the organization. UPDATE -- Scratch Freeman, who is apparently not going to make the team.
Nuno is a lefthander who has starting experience, much like Brad Hand of the Marlins, another pitcher the Rangers have been linked to this spring. Nuno is a former 48th round draft choice of the Cleveland Indians who was signed by the Yankees as a free agent in 2011, and was dealt to the D-Backs last year for Brandon McCarthy. Nuno has a career 4.31 ERA and 4.51 FIP in 181.2 IP, mostly as a starter. I suspect the Rangers like the idea of finding a lefty who can pitch multiple innings for the last spot in the bullpen, since
Freeman is the only other lefty there are no lefties in the bullpen , and its questionable as to whether he will stick long-term.
Tanner Scheppers is starting the year on the disabled list, but will most likely be back sometime in April, which will squeeze one of the seven relievers who will open the season on the active roster out of a spot. In addition, Kyuji Fujikawa and Ross Ohlendorf, both of whom are working their way back from groin injuries, are thought to be strong candidates for the major league pen once they are healthy, so we could see a bullpen in May that looks much different from that one we start the year with.