Rangers land lefty Detwiler in trade with Nationals

Veteran expected to get chance to start; two Minor Leaguers heading to Washington

Rangers land lefty Detwiler in trade with Nationals

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have added a fourth starter to their rotation, acquiring left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler from the Nationals for infielder Chris Bostick and right-hander Abel De Los Santos.

Washington used Detwiler as a reliever this past season, but Texas will use him as a starter.

"We acquired him with the intention of using him as a starter," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He wants to start, and when you have a player motivated like that to go out and perform, it's usually a good thing."

Hot Stove on Detwiler to Texas

Detwiler was the Nationals' first-round pick (sixth overall) in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Missouri State, and he has been used as a starter and a reliever over his seven-year career. He was 2-3 with a 4.00 ERA in 47 appearances in '14, averaging 5.6 strikeouts, 3.0 walks and 9.7 hits per nine innings.

Detwiler fans the side

Detwiler's most productive season was in 2012, when he went 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 27 starts and six relief appearances. He was 2-7 with a 4.04 ERA in 13 starts in '13 while missing the last three months of the season with a strained back.

"I'm really excited, especially going to a team with a chance to start and a team that can win right away," Detwiler said. "That's the goal. I think they've put a team together that has a chance to win right away.

"I look at it as the Rangers really wanted me and were willing to give up two prospects to get me. I am really appreciative of both teams. It's a better fit for me. I get a chance to start. I really didn't fit as a reliever last year. I think of myself as a starter."

Detwiler said he shouldn't have any problems transitioning back to a starter. He threw 164 1/3 innings in 2012, but just 71 1/3 in '13 and 63 in '14.

"I have just been preparing the way I have my whole career that I would be a starter," Detwiler said. "The conditioning and lifting, I'm doing the same things I did as a starter. I don't think I will have any physical limitations."

Detwiler relies mainly on a 93-mph sinking fastball with a curveball and a changeup. Daniels pointed to the success the Rangers have had with left-handers in their own ballpark -- C.J. Wilson, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and others -- and he is hoping Detwiler can do the same.

"From a scout's perspective, he is a guy who pitches off his fastball," Daniels said. "He has other pitches, but he is predominantly a fastball pitcher. You look at left-handed pitchers in our park who can sink the ball and move it around the strike zone; historically, it's a pretty good fit."

Detwiler will join Yu Darvish, Holland and Colby Lewis in the Rangers' rotation. The internal candidates for the fifth spot are Nick Tepesch, Nick Martinez, Lisalverto Bonilla and rookie Alex Gonzalez.

"We're still open to adding starting depth," Daniels said. "We have a number of internal options, all of whom we like, but you can never have enough. We'll continue to have conversations, but this takes the edge off. We feel Ross can come in and give us some innings, but you can never have enough."

Detwiler is a fifth-year arbitration-eligible player who can become a free agent after this season.

Bostick, 21, hit .251 with 11 home runs and 62 RBIs in 130 games with Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach in 2014, his first season in the Texas organization after being acquired from Oakland in a three-player trade a year ago.

De Los Santos, 22, combined to go 5-3 with a 1.92 ERA and eight saves in 41 relief appearances with Class A Hickory and Myrtle Beach. The right-hander was signed by Texas as a non-drafted free agent in May 2010.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.