If the Rangers are going to add a starting pitcher this off-season, it will be done on a one-year basis to help keep a spot warm for one from a group of fast-moving pitching prospects who could reach the majors in 2014.
As such, a baseball source said that they have interest in former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon, a free agent who went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA last season for Oakland.
Colon, who will turn 41 in May, would push Alexi Ogando out of the rotation and keep Robbie Ross in the bullpen, an area of the club that is also undergoing change for 2014 with Joe Nathan off to Detroit.
Colon would also be insurance if left-hander Matt Harrison is slow to come back from two back operations in April and May and September surgery to thoracic outlet syndrome on his right side.
Harrison said on Monday that he is long-tossing three days a week without any soreness, and has stretched out to 150 feet.
Adding Colon would also create more depth should a starter be injured. Ogando and Ross would be candidates to start games, as would Colby Lewis, Nick Tepesch and Jose Contreras. Lewis is coming off a major hip operation and Contreras is 42 years old.
A prospect group headed by Luke Jackson is expected to start the season at Double A Frisco. Alex Gonzalez, the Rangers' 2013 first-rounder, could also be in Frisco and move quickly through the system. Nick Martinez and Alec Asher are also highly regarded by the Rangers.
Colon, who was suspended in 2012 for using a banned substance, is represented by Adam Katz, who represents Nelson Cruz. Cruz was hit with a 50-game ban in 2013.
-- Jeff Wilson