"He's going to continue with somebody," Kohler said. "We'll see what happens."
Guardado, 39, was 1-2 with a 4.46 ERA in 48 games with the Rangers while pitching with a sore left knee that put him on the disabled list in August. Guardado's knee problems made him consider the possibility of retiring.
But he met with Dr. Lewis Yocum, the noted orthopedist, after the season. Yocum prescribed a rehabilitation program to make the knee stronger and Guardado has rigorously followed the instructions.
"He wasn't able to really push off all year," Kohler said. "But he feels a lot better after going to see Yocum. He has been on the program a month and he told me, 'I can't believe how much better I feel.'"
Kohler admitted Guardado will likely have to accept a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. That was his arrangement with the Rangers in each of the past two seasons. Any deal likely won't come down until late in the offseason.
Guardado would prefer to pitch on the West Coast. He and his wife, Lisa, have three children and make their home in Southern California.
"He wants to pitch on the West Coast, but knows that may not be realistic," Kohler said. "He's not going to take a non-roster deal with a team on the West Coast if he doesn't have a chance to make the team."
A return to the Rangers is not likely at this point. That may change, but Guardado likes regular work as a setup reliever and the Rangers have at least three in front of him in left-hander C.J. Wilson and right-handers Neftali Feliz and Darren O'Day.
Guardado, a two-time All-Star who has spent 17 years in the big leagues, has pitched in 908 Major League games, fourth most among active players. His 187 career saves is 12th among active players.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.