The Rangers sure do love to take chances on talented players with pasts that include an injury or some previous struggle. And they have a pretty good record when it comes to these kinds of deals (see Vladimir Guerrero and Colby Lewis from 2010 ... and numerous examples from previous seasons under Jon Daniels).
On Friday, the Rangers signed Barret Loux for $312,000. The right-handed pitcher was the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft but failed a physical with Arizona because of shoulder and elbow concerns. The Rangers did their own homework and are convinced Loux can pitch. So they are taking the risk that Loux can stay healthy. If he does, the Rangers are getting a player with plenty of talent.
"Our guys felt it was a good opportunity to add another talented arm to the system," general manager Jon Daniels said.
Because Loux failed the physical, the commissioner ruled he would become a free agent on Sept. 1. Loux was 11-2 with a 2.83 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 105 innings for Texas A&M as a junior. The club hasn't decided where he'll pitch in the minors in 2011.
But for $312,000, why not see if Loux can stay healthy and work his way through the system? He was the No. 6 overall pick and, according to some folks I've talked to, has four solid pitches including a very good changeup.
I like how the Rangers approach these things. They aren't afraid to take risks and normally they are calculated risks. No, they don't work out every time (see Rich Harden). But more times than not, the Rangers get excellent return on the investment. Now they have a talented pitcher who is motivated to prove he's healthy.