According to Gerry Fraley on Twitter, the Rangers have agreed to a deal with Boston to send Robbie Ross Jr. in exchange for right-handed pitcher Anythony Ranaudo.
This move is at least a bit surprising, in that we found out already last week that Neal Cotts won't be re-signing with Texas. Now, in dealing Ross away, Texas further takes a hit in depth with left-handed relievers. With that said, it wouldn't surprise me if there is another trade coming down the pipeline in the coming days to address that concern.
As for Ranaudo, he made his Major League debut in 2014, putting up an ERA of 4.81 and an xFIP of 5.79 in seven starts for Boston. His minor league numbers would seem to suggest that he has a higher ceiling than that, and would probably indicate why the deal was done in the first place.
With Ross, Texas knew what it had, and Ross had shown to be somewhat inconsistent, especially down the stretch late in seasons, whereas Ranaudo presents an intriguing upside and perhaps some untapped potential as a starter. As we all saw in 2014, the Robbie-Ross-as-a-starter project didn't exactly work out too well. Then again, neither did much else in the 2014 season. Furthermore, Ross has been a lefty that hasn't been able to consistently get lefties out, which somewhat nullified part of his value as a left-handed reliever.
Ranaudo is a 6'7" right-hander with decent command of a 92-94 mph fastball. He also incorporates a changeup, a slider, and a 12-6 curveball. The slider is still somewhat in its infancy in development, so there are some scouts who have profiled him as more of a reliever. I'd imagine he'll be given the chance to compete for a starting spot in Texas, providing further depth to a rotation that still has a question mark attached to the final slot.
Again, I have to imagine there's something else coming down the pipeline in the coming days. With this move, only Ross Detwiler and Alex Claudio on the current roster figure to have a chance to be lefty relievers. Matt Harrison and Martin Perez won't be available to start the season, and Derek Holland is already in the rotation.
The comments section is open. What do you think of the trade?