With the top targets all off the board, Rangers choices are Shields or bullpen help
The Rangers wanted Cole Hamels. They wanted Zack Greinke. They were interested in Cliff Lee and Josh Johnson. Then Hamels signed, Greinke was traded to the Angels and it appears they won't be getting Lee or Johnson, either. So what's next? The Rangers may still be able to trade for James Shields, or they could get bullpen help and move Alexi Ogando back to the rotation.
Zack Greinke was never the guy the Rangers wanted most.
No, that was Cole Hamels.
Obviously, they're not getting Hamels. They're not getting Greinke, either.
It appears they won't be getting Cliff Lee, because as CBSSports.com reported Friday, the Phillies don't intend to trade him. And, according to sources, the Rangers appear to be out of the running on Josh Johnson, as well.
Oh, and not only did they miss out on Greinke, but he was traded Friday night to their American League West rivals, the Angels.
Where does that leave the Rangers?
Quite possibly, it leaves them without the true ace they've sought for the top of their rotation. Hamels would have been it. Greinke would have been it.
The Rangers are still in the mix for Tampa Bay's James Shields, sources say. But it's still not certain that the Rays will trade Shields, and it's questionable whether Shields could be considered a true ace.
It doesn't appear that there are any other available starting pitchers who interest the Rangers, so it's possible that they'll now switch gears and focus on adding to their bullpen instead.
By adding a reliever, the Rangers would make it easier to move Alexi Ogando back to the rotation, where he was an All-Star last year. The Rangers should also be getting Neftali Feliz back from the disabled list, and they could choose to put him in the rotation again, too.
That's not a terrible option, and the Rangers did get to the World Series last year without anyone they considered a true ace. But they've also been to the World Series two years in a row, and haven't yet won it.
They thought Hamels would help them do that. They thought Greinke or Lee or Johnson might help them do that.
They know now they're not getting those guys.
Time to move on.