Closers. 60 comments

On the day that former Rangers All-Star Ian Kinsler became a Los Angeles Angel, the current Rangers are talking to Brandon Kintzler as a potential bullpen piece, along with Fernando Rodney.

Rodney is the guy who can’t seem to figure out how to put on his cap. It’s always crooked. That is his shtick. He’s also pretty good at saving games. But he’s one of those relievers who also leaves behind a slew of cardiac arrests every time he takes the mound.

He is the reason they invented Rolaids.

Even so, he saved 39 games for the Diamondbacks last season. Almost from the beginning, every time he made an appearance the whispers were this was going to be his last save opportunity. But he kept closing out games. And kept the naysayers at bay.

If he is signed, he would be one of those players who comes in to lend a veteran presence. The Rangers could do a lot worse. And they have the last few seasons.

Brandon Kintzler saved 29 games last season for Minnesota and Washington. In fact, the Twins traded him at the deadline thinking they had no chance at the second wild card, forgetting they were fighting anemic teams like the Rangers for it. The Twins, of course, still won the wild card slot even after trading off their closer.

Bullpens are interchangeable drill bits. Closers are a dime a dozen. Teams often go through three or four closers on their way to winning the World Series. (See Astros, Ken Giles.) Either pitcher would be an upgrade to what the Rangers have. And they are much cheaper options than Greg Holland or Wade Davis. A team that isn’t going to the post-season doesn’t need an elite closer.

What the Rangers need is to sign as many bullpen arms as possible. They can turn the ones that do well into prospects at the trade deadline, when teams are desperate and when closers and quality bullpen arms are at a premium.