The Texas Rangers appear to be taking the phrase, “You can never have enough pitching,” to a new extreme.
The team, even after signing free-agent closer Joe Nathan and winning the rights to Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish, remains interested in trading for Athletics closer Andrew Bailey, major-league sources say.
The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays also are in the mix for Bailey, sources say, but Texas is perhaps the most fascinating possibility. If the Rangers acquired Bailey and signed Darvish, it almost certainly would lead to another move.
A trade for Bailey likely would end any chance of right-hander Alexi Ogando returning to the bullpen; the Rangers would have Bailey, Mike Adams and Nathan at the back end. The signing of Darvish, meanwhile, would give the Rangers six starters, including Ogando.
At that point, the Ranger could trade one of their starters, perhaps left-hander Matt Harrison, for a center fielder or first baseman. They expressed interest in the Angels’ Peter Bourjos earlier this off-season, sources say. A deal between the two AL West rivals stands virtually no chance of happening, but there are numerous other players the Rangers could pursue.
As for Bailey, the Rangers remain in position to acquire him because they avoided trading prospects for a starting pitcher such as Athletics left-hander Gio Gonzalez and would not lose any prospects or draft picks for signing Darvish.