In order to keep up in the competitive AL West, the Texas Rangers must sign Kyle Lohse to solidify their rotation. 

Lohse entered free agency as one of the best pitchers on the market, but his age and the draft-pick compensation attached to him have kept him from finding a new home.

The team that signs Lohse will be forced to surrender their first-round draft pick, which is a high price to pay for a short-term deal for a 34-year old pitcher. 

The Rangers are primed to win now with their explosive offense, so signing Lohse could be viewed as an insurance signing if Martin Perez or Robbie Ross struggle in Spring Training. 

Every game matters in the AL West, which is something Rangers fans learned last season, so it’s imperative for Texas to have five competent starters and to have pitching depth. 

The Rangers must pay the piper and surrender the pick in order to sign Lohse. With Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando locked into the Rangers first four rotation slots, Lohse would step in and be the team’s fifth starter. 

While it would take time for Lohse to get used to playing in a hitter’s ballpark, his command would allow him to adapt to the Ballpark in Arlington. 

In 2012, Lohse posted a great record of 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA and allowed only 38 walks in 211 innings. One of Lohse‘s greatest attributes is that he keeps the ball in play and doesn’t award free bases via walks or subpar pitches. 

If Lohse signed with the Rangers, his numbers would take a spike due to playing in the American League which utilizes designated hitters but that would be an expectation for any pitcher changing leagues. 

If the Rangers do sign Lohse, expect it to be a one-year deal for between $13-15 million. By signing him to a short-term deal, the Rangers would be minimizing the risk of signing an older pitcher. 

Considering that their payroll is down from last season, the Rangers front office must pull the trigger on Lohse to solidify their rotation. 

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