The Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics are nearing a trade centered around relief pitcher Koji Uehara, according to Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News. Uehara has been in trade rumors for a while now as the Rangers retool their pitching staff for the 2012 season.
Uehara, 36, was acquired by Texas from the Baltimore Orioles during the middle of the 2011 season. His 4.00 ERA with the Rangers isn't great, especially when noting how well he pitched in relief for Baltimore. Upon signing with the Orioles out of Japan in 2009, Uehara began his MLB career as a starting pitcher, but he struggles with some injury issues.
Baltimore moved Uehara into the bullpen full-time in 2010, and he's been dominant in that role since. Over the past two seasons, Uehara has posted a 2.56 ERA in 109 innings with a stunning 140 strikeouts compared to just 14 walks. He doesn't overpower hitters, but the 36-year-old has been extremely effective.