It was reported earlier today that the Texas Rangers had increased their pursuit of free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse following the injury of left-hander Martin Perez. However, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com says that, according to sources, an agreement between the Rangers and Lohse is still "not likely to happen."
Sullivan adds that he's hearing the Rangers' stance on Lohse has not changed, even after Perez was diagnosed with a fractured forearm that carries with it at least a two-month recovery period.
Texas will still break camp with five starters, but they are expected to stay in-house for Perez's replacement. At this point, Sullivan notes that Robbie Ross and Nick Tepesch "have become the leading candidates" to fill the role. Randy Wells is also receiving consideration, while Justin Grimm and Nate Robertson appear to be long shots for the final rotation spot.
Beyond Perez's eventual return, the Rangers are confident in their starting pitching depth considering Colby Lewis could be back in the team's rotation by the end of May. The team currently sports a projected staff of Derek Holland, Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando.
Lohse would provide a more experienced option for the back-end of the Rangers rotation, but he'd come with a hefty cost. The 34-year-old's agent, Scott Boras, is reportedly seeking a three-year deal with a "big" average annual salary - think $10 million-plus. Beyond the financial commitment, the team that signs Lohse would have to send a high draft pick to the St. Louis Cardinals.