Rumors: The Texas Rangers are "on" Rich Hill, Oakland A's starting pitcher, according to Ken Rosenthal in his latest piece. Rosenthal writes that the Rangers don't think anyone on the market is worth Jurickson Profar or Joey Gallo, but after having interest in the just-traded Drew Pomeranz, the team is now looking at Hill, would "figure to pursue" one of the Yankee relievers if they end up selling, and "could use a catcher."
We talked about Hill yesterday, and so I won't belabor the pros and cons of him again. It is noteworthy, though, that Rosenthal has Profar and Gallo as being off-limits, as those are the two trade chips the Rangers presumably are being asked about most often, and who are speculated to be the pieces most likely to bring back something of significant value.
With Derek Holland being moved to the 60 day d.l., and thus not even being a potential rotation option until August 20, and with Colby Lewis not expected back until September, the Rangers do have a hole in the rotation right now. Even assuming everyone else stays healthy, Texas is facing limping along with Kyle Lohse, Nick Martinez, or someone else of that ilk if they don't make a move, and things would go much worse if one of the current front four of Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Martin Perez and A.J. Griffin is going to miss any time. With the lead in the A.L. West down to 5.5 games, you have to think the Rangers are looking at getting someone to help shore things up and provide depth...at one point, the thought seemed to be go big or go home, but right now, even someone of the back-end innings eating variety, such as Jeremy Hellickson, who is currently posting a 3.92 ERA and a 4.26 FIP on a one year, $7M deal with the Phillies, would seem to be attractive (and much less expensive in terms of prospects).
I have no doubt the Rangers are engaged on Hill, and on any other pitcher, starter or reliever, who could become available. And I'm reasonably certain we'll see at least one move made for a pitcher between now and the July 31 trade deadline. I'm just not sure we have a real clear picture as to whether that move would be a Ryan Dempster-esque warm body rental (or a Sam Dyson-esque pickup of a relatively obscure reliever), or something bigger.