Texas Rangers Notes: Trading for Jeremy Guthrie would allow Alexi Ogando to move back to bullpen

Having Guthrie could help the rotation ... and the bullpen.(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

For the last few days, a lot of the trade talk has centered around relievers like Heath Bell, Francisco Rodriguez and a few others.

While the bullpen is definitely something general manager Jon Daniels and CEO Nolan Ryan will need to address, they also need to do something about the starting rotation. They need to bring in a starter, or two, that will allow them to move struggling Alexi Ogando back to the bullpen and possibly into the seventh or eighth inning role.

Jeremy Guthrie, a 32-year-old right-hander with the Baltimore Orioles, is a guy the Rangers could bring in and plug in as the number-two starter behind ace C.J. Wilson.

Guthrie is currently 3-9 with a 3.93 ERA, but don’t forget this is for an Orioles team that is hitting .260 and really doesn’t have much of a chance to win their division. Especially when that division already boasts the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays.

In four of the last five seasons, Guthrie has finished with an ERA under 4.00 including a career low 3.63 back in 2008 and has posted three consecutive 10-win seasons.

He’s a solid starter and all of his experience has been in the AL East, a division most would call the best in baseball.

His fastball velocity will range anywhere from the high 80s to mid 90s, and he’s able to paint the corners with it. His slider will stay around the mid 80s, but he has been known to ramp it into the low 90s as well. Those are the two pitches he’s thrown the most over his career, but he will mix in a curve and changeup, as well. However, according to fangraphs.com, he won’t use those two pitches nearly as often.

Over his career, Guthrie has thrown his fastball and slider 83.6% of the time with the other 16.4% centered around the curve and changeup.

Guthrie has always gotten off to fast starts to every season. He has a career 3.29 ERA in the month of May, but for the rest of the season he’ll hover around the 4.30 to 4.70 mark.

He’s a guy who won’t cost the Rangers their top prospects, but the Orioles will look to acquire the likes of Craig Gentry and possibly a few other minor leaguers, maybe of the mid-level variety.

Bringing in Guthrie allows the team to make some changes to their rotation in order to strengthen their bullpen. They can roll with Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and possibly Colby Lewis at the back end of the rotation, at least for now.

With Wilson and Guthrie leading the staff, this team — and its rotation — automatically becomes the best in the AL West and allows them a little breathing room between them and the rest of the division.

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