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February 16, 2009

   It's no coincidence that when the Rangers were winning division championships in the '90s, they had a strong, veteran bullpen, with pitchers  like John Wetteland and Tim Crabtree as the anchors. That lesson hasn't been lost on the team's current management, which is why general manager Jon Daniels says he's keeping an eye on the relievers still available in the free agent market.

   If Brendan Donnelly and Derrick Turnbow make the team, the Rangers' bullpen will already have a more veteran look than it's had in a few years, but Daniels may not be finished tinkering.

   For one thing, the Rangers will have someone watch former closer Chad Cordero throw this coming weekend. That's expected to be here in Arizona, so it will be more convenient for teams to scout him. The Rangers also like Juan Cruz, though his price so far has been too high, and others like Ron Villone, Dennys Reyes, Ambiorix Burgos, Joe Beimel and Aquilino Lopez are still on the market.

   A longshot possibility, too, is one of the Rangers' young starters like Derek Holland making the team out of spring training, forcing someone like Scott Feldman back into the 'pen.

   -- Jim Reeves


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