The Rangers are on the winter meetings scoreboard, though their move Monday morning will rate as a blip in the transactions report on the agate pages of most outlets.
But the acquisition of Scott Barnes on a waiver claim from Baltimore could turn into a significant move if he is able to crack the Rangers’ bullpen as one of the two left-handers they would like to have.
He is the fourth known candidate, with Robbie Ross, Michael Kirkman and Alex Claudio. That’s not exactly Andrew Miller, Glen Perkins and Jake McGee.
The move comes at the princely sum of $20,000, and Barnes would make ht eleague minimum. That’s a potentially bargain-basement move for a team that has budget issues this off-season.
One stumbling block is experience. Barnes, 27, has only 22 career innings in the majors. He spent all of 2014 with Triple A Columbus of the Cleveland organization, holding lefty hitters to .191 average and only two extra-base hits.
Lefty Neal Cotts remains available, though re-signing him has slid down the Rangers’ list of priorities. It seems that right-hander Scott Baker isn’t much of a priority now, either.
The Rangers have spoken with the Baker camp, and have interest in bringing him back on a minor-league deal. Baker, coming off a nice season after injuries issues the previous two years, wants a guaranteed deal.
He has value beyond what he showed with the Rangers in 2014. He handled the his role without difficulty, showing an ability to bounce between long man and spot starter without the trouble that seems to plague many others in the swingman role.
Baker, 33, was also a veteran who a bevy of young Rangers arms could look to for advice and how to get prepared. Those young guys won’t be much more experienced in 2015.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760