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Rangers' deal with potential closer called off

The Rangers were reportedly in an agreement with Oh on a contract just before coming to Spring Training

A potential deal between the Rangers and reliever Seung Hwan Oh has fallen through, sources said Saturday.

The Rangers were reportedly in an agreement with Oh on a contract just before coming to Spring Training. But the deal was pending a physical and never was completed. Sources said the Rangers have ended the negotiations and aren't expected to sign Oh.

Rangers officials declined to comment but they are still in the market for pitching help. They are still without an identified closer, although Alex Claudio finished last season in that role for the Rangers, as did Mike Minor for the Royals.

Matt Bush, Jake Diekman, Keone Kela and non-roster invite Kevin Jepsen are all candidates to varying degrees. Tony Barnette and Chris Martin were both closers in Japan.

A “physical issue” led the Rangers to abandon the Oh signing, according to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. 

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The Rangers became concerned after looking at the MRI results on Oh’s arm, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes.

Oh, who pitched for the Cardinals in 2016 and '17, is entering his third season in the Major Leagues after 11 seasons in Korea and Japan. He'll be looking to bounce back after a rocky '17.

The 35-year-old had an impressive debut season with St. Louis two years ago and ended up taking over as the team's closer, but he struggled in 2017 and was eventually moved out of the role.

Oh recorded 20 saves last season, but he also had a 4.10 ERA in his 62 relief appearances and saw his strikeout rate decline, with 54 K's in 59 1/3 innings. In his lights-out 2016, Oh had 19 saves and a 1.92 ERA in 76 outings, with 103 strikeouts in 79 2/3 innings.

MLB.com | By T.R. Sullivan

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