Derek Lowe gives club versatility

The signing of right-handed veteran Derek Lowe might not be a blockbuster spring training deal, but it's one that gives the Texas Rangers some options.

Lowe, 39, has done it all. He's been a closer. He's been a starter. Last year, he was a starter and then a middle reliever. His contract, which pays him a base salary of $1.25 million if he's in the majors (and they didn't sign him with the idea that he won't be in the majors), is affordable. Lowe offers a veteran presence to the bullpen and an insurance policy on the fifth spot in the rotation.

With Martin Perez out with a fractured bone in his forearm, that final starting spot remains up for grabs. Robbie Ross had another solid outing today and Randy Wells has pitched well in camp so far. Perhaps one of those two gets that job and can hold down the spot until Colby Lewis is ready. If not, Lowe is an option there.

The more likely scenario is that he's long relief or a reliever in the middle innings for this team. He had a 3.04 ERA in 17 appearances (23 2/3 innings) with the New York Yankees last year after struggling as a starter to begin the season in Cleveland.

But Lowe's versatility gives the Rangers some options. That's a good thing.