For a better spring perspective, dont think of it as a No. 5 starter.Think of the Texas Rangers continuing pitching vacancy as a walking, throwing Help Wanted ad.Job description, negotiable. And in the case of Kyle Lohse, the salary would be, too.Pay attention to Derek Lowes start Thursday against the Angels. The veteran right-hander, 39 years young, has had a rough couple of seasons, but he hasnt given up a run in his two previous Rangers spring appearances.Lowe was signed to a minor league contract two weeks ago and was expected to serve as an experienced arm in the ongoing scramble to reshape the Texas bullpen. But hey if hes getting people out, why not trust the No. 5 job to a guy whos started 377 games in his major league career?Eight starts. Thats the most-often number being heard in Surprise. Eight starts, the Rangers hope, will get them through the early part of the schedule, with its sprinkling of off days, and buttress the pitching rotation until Colby Lewis and Martin Perez can fully return.Thats not asking too much, unless Unless as general manager Jon Daniels has been saying, making a deal for pitching at this point is only worth it if it represents an upgrade.And if an upgrade is, indeed, the clubs underlying objective, why should the Rangers waste all this energy on being presentable for a few nights in April, when a true upgrade could give them a better pitching staff in May and beyond?That is why, all protests to the contrary, the Rangers rumored ongoing interest in Lohse, though tepid, makes sense.Still unsigned and presumably still snuggled away in agent Scott Boras secret bunker, the Holdout Hotel, Lohse would not be a candidate for the Rangers No. 5 starter spot. At his best, he could be the Rangers third-best starter. At his worst, his fly ball ways at Rangers Ballpark could make an ill fit.Dont discount the influence that catcher Yadier Molina had on Lohse and the rest of the St. Louis staff.Free agent Lohse reportedly has been telling people that hes received no shortage of one-year offers from interested parties the Rangers, no doubt, included. But Boras has said he expects a big, three-year deal.Before you laugh, remember that it only takes one desperate team to make such an offer.Is Lohse worth three years at $42 million? Maybe, I guess, if you still want Kyle Lohse on your staff three seasons from now. Some of us would rather see Martin Perez in the rotation and see what becomes of Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando.The loss of a No. 1 draft choice for signing Lohse need not be a deal-breaker. The Rangers need to win now, not 2018.With Opening Day just about two weeks away, Lohse might be tempted by a two-year offer from a true contender. (Dont forget that the Angels also might be interested).As it always does, meanwhile, the scrimmage to round out the Rangers rotation has been sorting out itself.Young Robbie Ross still looks like someone who can best help the club as the No. 1 lefty in the bullpen.Michael Kirkman has gotten people out this spring, but hes not a serious candidate for the rotation.Nick Tepesch has thrown strikes a huge plus in the minds of manager Ron Washington and his staff but he probably needs a longer look. Better to be watched at Triple A Round Rock than against the Rays and Mariners in April.And Lowe? Interesting. Hes a wily veteran.But shouldnt a contending team be looking to upgrade the rotation?
Gil LeBreton, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @gilebreton