Almost instantly after today’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Texas Rangers made a deal for the reliever that they desperately need.

General manager Jon Daniels made a deal with the Baltimore Orioles to send pitcher Tommy Hunter and first baseman Chris Davis in exchange for reliever Koji Uehara.

A trade involving Chris Davis comes as no surprise to me, as he was destined to find another team to play for.

He tore it up in the minor leagues but just can’t seem to outperform Mitch Moreland at first. As a result, he was pushed over to third base to sub for an injured Adrian Beltre. He’s a power bat that is of no use to the Rangers on the bench, so moving him in a trade is exactly what needed to happen.

However, including Tommy Hunter in the deal is a bit of a surprise. He’s been a solid pitcher throughout his career with Texas but his sabermetrics have been lagging behind Derek Holland and Matt Harrison.

Also, given Hunter’s history of injuries, this move is one that will not hurt the Rangers in the long run and will clear a spot in the bullpen for Uehara and possibly another pitcher. Hunter did a lot for Texas last season and will be missed, but a move like this is necessary to clear up the bullpen issues.

Uehara is by far the best reliever in the American League. Opponents are batting .151 against him (tied for first in the AL) and he leads the league in walks and hits per inning pitched (WHIP), strikeouts-per-walk, and is third in walks-per-nine-innings.

His three primary pitches are the fastball, split finger fastball, and the change up with an appearance percentage of 66, 21, and 11 respectively. His earned run average is 1.72 with a fielding independent earned run average of 2.52.

This is exactly the kind of move the Rangers needed to make in order to make their run for another AL West title and another trip to the World Series go as smoothly as last year. A solid bullpen is going to mean a lot to this team and Uehara’s presence should provide a tremendous boost.

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