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Thursday, January 5, 2012
Rangers still interested in Mike Gonzalez

By Richard Durrett

As the Rangers look to get the roster finalized heading into spring training (and we're only six weeks away, folks), they are light in the left-handed relief department.

The club is content to look at internal candidates, like Michael Kirkman, but they still have an interest in Michael Gonzalez. The 33-year-old had his left knee scoped this offseason and the club requested his medical reports as it continues to explore the left-handed pitching market. The Rangers met with his agent, Scott Boras, at the winter meetings and have said this offseason that they remain interested in Gonzalez.

Texas acquired Gonzalez from the Baltimore Orioles just before the Aug. 31 deadline as a situational left-hander, and he performed well in that role. He got two memorable postseason outs. He struck out Johnny Damon with two runners on in the eighth inning of Game 3 of the ALDS to help preserve a 4-3 win. He came out after a rain delay in Game 1 of the ALCS with the bases loaded and the Rangers clinging to a one-run lead late and got Alex Avila to end the threat.

Gonzalez could be a key left-handed weapon for manager Ron Washington if the club and Gonzalez can reach a deal. We'll see.