Five Key Holes the Rangers Need to Fill This Winter, and How They Should Fill Them
3. Who will fill the openings in the bullpen?
Right-handed free agents: Mike Adams, Jonathan Broxton, Kyle Farnsworth, Scott Feldman, Kyuji Fujikawa, Mark Lowe, Ryan Madson, Joel Peralta, Francisco Rodriguez, Joakim Soria, Rafael Soriano, Koji Uehara
Left-handed free agents: Jeremy Affeldt, Brian Fuentes, Mike Gonzalez, J.P. Howell, Francisco Liriano
This is where the Rangers need to focus their offseason spending. As of now, the bullpen includes Joe Nathan, Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers, Michael Kirkman and, um, maybe Wilmer Font. That won't be enough to win the West or even secure a wild card. Texas needs to sign at least three solid arms to ensure the bullpen isn't a concern.
Strong consideration should be given to bringing back both Uehara and Adams, assuming Adams successfully recovers from rib surgery. And left-hander Jeremy Affeldt would be a smart signing since Ross is likely to get a shot in the rotation at some point in the future.
There will be some sticker shock because clubs are putting a greater emphasis on building bullpens, but Texas needs to pay the going rate or get stuck overpaying for leftovers.
Next: Who will be the backstops?