Rangers looking to bulk up the bullpen

Free agent Kintzler could be on club's shopping list

Rangers looking to bulk up the bullpen

ARLINGTON -- As the Rangers approached the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline in 2016, they had multiple discussions with the Twins about reliever Brandon Kintzler. At the time, the Rangers were looking to add depth to their bullpen for a postseason run and Kintzler had just emerged as a potential closer for the Twins.

Now Kintzler is a free agent, having developed into an All-Star closer for the Twins before being traded to the Nationals, and the Rangers are going into the offseason in need of serious bullpen help. A closer could be on their shopping list depending on how the Rangers assess their current group, which includes Matt Bush, Keone Kela, Jake Diekman and Alex Claudio.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Daniels bullish on revamped farm system

Daniels bullish on revamped farm system

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' deep disappointment over a losing season and failure to reach the postseason did not extend to scouting and player development.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels went over what he saw were multiple positive developments in those areas in his end-of-season review. It's unlikely those developments -- with the possible exception of outfielder Willie Calhoun -- will have a significant impact on the Rangers next season.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: How will Rangers boost pitching staff?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers fans' questions

Inbox: How will Rangers boost pitching staff?

How are the Rangers going to go about rebuilding their bullpen? It seems to be a high priority. How hard will that be?
-- Billy F. Denton

The problem is the Rangers desperately need starting pitching and that's where their resources will be directed. Now, if the Rangers can't land one or two of the top free-agent starters, then maybe they turn their attention to top-of-the-market relievers like Wade Davis, Matt Albers, Pat Neshek or Addison Reed.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arms to be top target for Rangers this winter

With only two starters returning, plenty of work must be done

Arms to be top target for Rangers this winter

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' offseason plans seem to revolve around Shohei Ohtani, the Japanese superstar who is both an outstanding pitcher and a hitter.

Nobody is sure what is going to happen with Ohtani, but all indications are he will be posted to come to the United States. The economics are murky and so is exactly what his role will be in the Major Leagues.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers acquire Class A Hickory franchise

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have bought another Class A Minor League team.

The Rangers announced Thursday they have purchased the Class A Hickory Crawdads of the South Atlantic League. The Rangers have had a working relationship with Hickory since 2009 and won the 2015 South Atlantic League title.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Middlebrooks among 4 cleared from 40-man

Middlebrooks among 4 cleared from 40-man

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have cleared four spots on their 40-man roster by outrighting pitcher Paolo Espino, infielders Phil Gosselin and Will Middlebrooks and outfielder Jared Hoying to Triple-A Round Rock.

Gosselin and Middlebrooks have both declined the outright assignment and elected to become free agents. The moves leave the Rangers with 36 players on the 40-man roster.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Neill stuffs box score in Fall League action

O'Neill stuffs box score in Fall League action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Michael O'Neill put up the best season of his professional career in 2017 and carried that momentum over to the Arizona Fall League, where he led Surprise to a 3-1 win over Salt River on Wednesday night.

The Rangers' prospect stuffed the box score, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base out of the leadoff spot in his first action of the fall.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers could be interested in pitcher Mikolas

Right-hander spent 2014 with Texas before strong three-year stint in Japan

Rangers could be interested in pitcher Mikolas

ARLINGTON -- There is no secret the Rangers will be interested in Japanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani if he is posted as expected by the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters this offseason.

But Ohtani is hardly the only pitcher from Japan who will be on the Rangers' list. Another intriguing option is right-hander Miles Mikolas, one of 40 pitchers used by the Rangers in their 95-loss 2014 season.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Roles for Gallo, DeShields not decided

Rangers go into offseason with potential openings in OF, 1B

Roles for Gallo, DeShields not decided

ARLINGTON -- Joey Gallo and Delino DeShields are expected to be vital members of the Rangers lineup next season, but their exact roles are to be determined.

Club officials were vague when asked about both players at the season-ending media availability last week.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Beras, Jones use instructs to develop pitching

Beras, Jones use instructs to develop pitching

The stress-free environment of instructional league makes it the perfect place to experiment with players at different positions. During the Rangers' four-week camp in Surprise, Ariz., former outfielders Jairo Beras and James Jones continued their transition to the mound.

Beras, 22, controversially signed for $4.5 million out of the Dominican Republic in February 2012 after submitting an older birthdate than he had previously. Some teams believed he did so to circumvent upcoming bonus restrictions in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and when MLB couldn't pinpoint a true birthdate, it allowed his contract to stand but suspended him until July 2013.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers weigh moving Bush into rotation

Rangers weigh moving Bush into rotation

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers need to rebuild both their starting rotation and their bullpen.

One significant issue being weighed is whether to move right-hander Matt Bush to the rotation or keep him in the bullpen.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former MLB outfielder Lock, 81, passes away

Former MLB outfielder Lock, 81, passes away

ARLINGTON -- Outfielder Don Lock, who was one of the few bright spots for the expansion Washington Senators before they moved to Texas, passed away Sunday according to the Wichita Eagle. He was 81.

Lock, who was a two-sport star at Wichita State University, was originally signed by the Yankees in 1958 and then traded to the Senators in '62. He ended up spending five seasons with the Senators before being traded to the Phillies in '67. His career ended with the Red Sox in '69.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Banister's '19 option picked up; staff adjusted

Six of eight coaches returning for '18; Fielder released

Banister's '19 option picked up; staff adjusted

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have exercised the option on manager Jeff Banister's contract for the 2019 season, and are bringing back six of his eight coaches to the staff for the 2018 season.

Those six are pitching coach Doug Brocail, hitting coach Anthony Iapoce, third base coach Tony Beasley, bench coach Steve Buechele, assistant hitting coach Justin Mashore and Hector Ortiz, who served as first base coach in 2017.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Rangers outfielders impressing at instructs

Rangers outfielders impressing at instructs

The Rangers appear to have their center fielder of the future in Leody Taveras, who also happens to be their top-rated prospect. He's a switch-hitter with five-tool potential who held his own as one of the youngest regulars (age 18) in the Class A South Atlantic League this season.

But if the talent on hand in Texas' instructional league program in Surprise, Ariz., is any indication, there will be a number of worthy challengers. Taveras stood out in the four-week camp, which ended Friday, but so did a number of center-field prospects, most notably Bubba Thompson and Pedro Gonzalez.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cody, Guzman named Prospects of the Year

Cody, Guzman named Prospects of the Year

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers believe they are close to seeing a group of highly-talented young pitchers emerge from the lower depths of their farm system. Kyle Cody could lead the way.

The 6-foot-7 right-hander may have been the best pitching news in the Rangers' farm system this year as he went from relative obscurity to their No. 18 prospect.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Daniels on Texas direction: 'This is not a rebuild'

Daniels on Texas direction: 'This is not a rebuild'

ARLINGTON -- General manager Jon Daniels made it clear on the direction of the Rangers going into the offseason.

"This is not a rebuild," Daniels said Wednesday. "We expect to win. We are always going to have that mindset. That is going to be the internal expectation. We have a plan we are comfortable with going forward with in building a talent base. I'm very confident of that."

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walks, K's a big concern heading into 2018

Walks, K's a big concern heading into 2018

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitchers had 1.98 strikeouts per walk this season, the second-lowest in the American League. Their staff had 1,107 strikeouts, the fewest in the league, and 559 walks, the third most.

Offensively, they were second in the league with 1,493 strikeouts but seventh with 544 walks. They put the ball in play on just 35.5 percent of their swings, the second-lowest in the league.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers' 2017 slate full of peaks and valleys

Club came up just short of a return trip to postseason

Rangers' 2017 slate full of peaks and valleys

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers had some big victories and major injuries, lots of home runs, but even more strikeouts and a few too many blown saves.

There was a 10-game winning streak and a few other stretches of brilliance, but they were also swept at too many inopportune times by teams like the Orioles, Mariners and A's.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Club has holes to fill in starting rotation

Club has holes to fill in starting rotation

ARLINGTON -- There isn't going to be any massive rebuilding or youth movement in Arlington this offseason. The Rangers aren't about to tear this apart and start over after just one losing season.

This is going to be business as usual for the Rangers this winter. Once they have taken care of the usual after-season housework, the Rangers will go to work in trying to put together a contending team for 2018.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beltre, Mazara conclude season on high note

Rangers finish below .500 for only second time in last nine years

Beltre, Mazara conclude season on high note

ARLINGTON -- Adrian Beltre smacked one more hit and received one more standing ovation. Nomar Mazara, down to his last at-bat, had a two-run double to put him over the century mark in RBIs in his second big league season.

Those two big moments stood out during another loss to end a disappointing season on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park. The Rangers closed the 2017 season with a 5-2 loss to the Athletics, finishing with a record of 78-84 and tied with the Mariners for third place in the American League West.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mazara drives in 2 in finale as offense stymied

Mazara drives in 2 in finale as offense stymied

ARLINGTON -- Athletics outfielder Khris Davis had one more blast for the Rangers before the season was over.

Davis hit his 43rd home run in the eighth inning on Sunday afternoon in the Athletics' 5-2 victory over the Rangers. The home run gave Davis a career high, one more than last season.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamels falters at end, looks to rebound in '18

Rangers' ace won 11 games in injury-plagued year

Hamels falters at end, looks to rebound in '18

ARLINGTON -- The 2017 season wasn't as kind to Cole Hamels as previous ones had been.

His ERA of 4.20 was the highest it's been since the 2009 season, and he lost his final two starts at Globe Life Park, including Sunday's 5-2 loss to the A's, after going 16-2 over his first 32 there. When the Rangers were scrapping for a playoff spot, he wasn't his usual top-of-the-rotation self.

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Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Draft order set; Rangers to pick 15th

Giants, Phillies, White Sox and Reds follow Detroit in top five

Draft order set; Rangers to pick 15th

Both the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers had designs on the postseason in 2017. For a variety of reasons, things didn't work out as planned. The consolation prize? Getting to pick at the top of the 2018 Draft.

It came down to the final day of the season and both teams finished tied with 64-98 records. By virtue of the Tigers' .534 winning percentage in 2016 (the Giants finished that season at .537), they get the first pick. Detroit has had the No. 1 pick just once before, taking Matt Anderson in 1997.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers' offseason begins with staff meetings

Banister says hitting, pitching coaches to be evaulated

Rangers' offseason begins with staff meetings

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers will begin the offseason with meetings with the eight members of their coaching staff. The Rangers have given no indication what changes -- if any -- will be made to the staff.

"We are always looking to improve what we do and the process of how we do it," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I'd like to think our coaching staff is growing in knowledge and how we get players better. There is always an evaluation of how the staff is structured."

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gallo relieved to reach 40-homer mark

Rangers slugger hits two dingers in first three innings Saturday vs. the A's

Gallo relieved to reach 40-homer mark

ARLINGTON -- Joey Gallo was feeling the pressure. He had been sitting on 39 home runs since Sept. 25, and time was running out for him to reach the 40-homer mark.

Guys in the dugout kept reminding him he just needed one more, and Gallo said he started trying to force it, which had manifested itself in a 4-for-31 stretch where he struck out 19 times.

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Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rangers Cash in on Gallo's dingers to beat A's

Rangers Cash in on Gallo's dingers to beat A's

ARLINGTON -- Andrew Cashner earned his career-high 11th victory in helping pitch the Rangers to an 8-4 victory over the Athletics on Saturday night at Globe Life Park.

Joey Gallo gave Cashner plenty of support with two home runs and three RBIs in the first three innings. He has 41 home runs on the season, third most in the American League. Gallo is one behind Oakland outfielder Khris Davis, who had two hits, including an RBI double, in this game.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Andrus adds more milestones to career year

Shortstop scores 100th run and records 300th total base Friday

Andrus adds more milestones to career year

ARLINGTON -- Elvis Andrus continued the best season of his career on Friday night with another pair of impressive milestones. After doubling and scoring in the first inning during the Rangers' 5-3 win, Andrus reached 300 total bases and 100 runs on the season.

The two-time All-Star shortstop has enjoyed an impressive season at the plate, especially with his newfound power. Andrus entered Saturday's game against the Athletics third in the American League in hits (189), tied for fifth in doubles (43), seventh in runs (100), tied for ninth in total bases (300) and tied for ninth in stolen bases (25). He has career highs in homers (20), doubles, RBIs (87), hits, runs and total bases this year, all while batting out of the second or third spot in the lineup -- the latter of which being very new to Andrus.

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Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Claudio's 2018 role in bullpen uncertain

Left-hander has 2.29 ERA this season in relief and has thrived in ninth inning

Claudio's 2018 role in bullpen uncertain

ARLINGTON -- Alex Claudio earned his 11th save Friday night with a scoreless ninth inning in a 5-3 victory over the Athletics. With that save, the left-hander passed Matt Bush for the club lead.

"I can add that to my resume," Claudio said. "I'm very happy with what I accomplished."

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.