Rangers sign Derek Lowe to minor league contract

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UPDATE: Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports that the deal is done.

3:45 PM: Derek Lowe is close to agreeing to a minor-league deal with the Rangers, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

Grant seems to suggest that Lowe will make the Opening Day pitching staff, although it’s hard to imagine why that would be guaranteed for a 40-year-old coming off back-to-back seasons with an ERA above 5.00.

Lowe could start or relieve, and if he does make the team out of spring training he’d presumably be keeping a spot warm until Colby Lewis and/or Martin Perez get healthy. Last season for the Braves and Indians he posted a 5.11 ERA in 143 innings with a .321 opponents’ batting average and nearly as many walks (51) as strikeouts (55).