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Texas Rangers rumors: Kyle Kendrick, Ryan Vogelsong pursued by Rangers

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Jim Bowden tweets that the Rangers are after free agent starting pitchers Ryan Vogelsong and Kyle Kendrick

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers rumors:  Kyle Kendrick and Ryan Vogelsong are being pursued by the Texas Rangers, according to Jim Bowden on Twitter.

The Rangers' rotation currently consists of Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler, and a question mark.  That questionable fifth spot, at this point, would be expected to be filled by Nick Tepesch, Nick Martinez, or Lisalverto Bonilla, but Jon Daniels has said that the Rangers want to add another starting pitcher, and are looking at both trade options and free agent possibilities.

Vogelsong, 37, has had an odd, Colby Lewis-esque career...he was a well-regarded prospect in the Giants' system in the early part of the 21st century, never really panned out, ended up having his career de-railed by injuries, then went to Japan.  After being mediocre in the Japanese Leagues from 2007-09, he returned to the States, and ended up being a solid member of the Giants rotation in 2011 and 2012.  After a disastrous 2013 season, Vogelsong had a middling, mediocre year in the San Francisco rotation in 2014, putting up a 4.00 ERA and a 3.85 FIP in 184.2 IP.

On a one year deal, you could probably do worse than Vogelsong as a back-end starter, though he's not that exciting.  Jon Heyman's prediction column anticipated that Vogelsong would get a two year deal at $14-20M, a price I can't see Texas meeting...it seems more likely they'd do something like the 1 year, $4M plus incentives deal they gave Colby Lewis.

Kendrick is a 30 year old native Texan who has spent his entire career in the Phillies organization.  He finished 5th in the Rookie of the Year balloting in 2007, after posting a 3.87 ERA in 121 IP, though his 4.94 FIP suggested that ERA was not likely sustainable.  Kendrick had a terrible 2008 season, but since then, has basically been a middling starting pitcher, putting up a 5.1 bWAR/3.5 fWAR in 835.2 IP since 2010.  Like Vogelsong, he's someone I could see the Rangers having interest in if he'd take a relatively low-base one year deal for 2015, with the hope that he, Detwiler and Lewis can keep the team in games when Yu and Holland don't start.

Given that Daniels has said that the Rangers are also looking at trades, you have to wonder if this leak isn't motivated, at least in part, by a desire to get a potential trade partner to blink.  The Mets, for example, have Dillon Gee and Jon Niese potentially available, and I suspect the Rangers would have interest in both pitchers.  The Rangers aren't going to trade for a Gee or a Niese if they sign Vogelsong or Kendrick, however, which leads one to wonder if there isn't a certain amount of gamesmanship involved in this leak.