Texas Rangers: Austin Bibens-Dirkx Could Become Free Agent

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 17: Austin Bibens-Dirkx (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 17: Austin Bibens-Dirkx (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Adding pitching is the main focus on the Texas Rangers front office this winter, but they could potentially be losing a valuable pitcher in Austin-Bibens Dirkx. Should the organization bring back ABD for 2018?

According to Gerry Fraley, the Texas Rangers could lose Austin-Bibens Dirkx after he rejected an outright minor-league assignment. Bibens-Dirkx has decided to take minor league free agency over heading to Triple-A Round Rock.

General manager Jon Daniels is open to bringing Bibens-Dirkx back in 2018, but it needs to be for the right price. If the Rangers would’ve kept ABD on the 40-man roster, Texas would’ve had to pay him an annual rate of $340,000 for his time in the minors.

The 2017 season was ABD’s first season in the MLB and it went fairly well. He finished 3-2 with a 4.67 ERA in 24 games (6 starts) with Texas. The 32-year-old was a valuable swing man for the organization, and the Rangers should consider bringing him back.

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The Rangers do have three rotation spots to fill, and at worst ABD could potentially be the fifth starter in 2018. It’s not ideal, but if Texas spends its payroll elsewhere that could be a scenario the team explores.

If Bibens-Dirkx gains better command of the strike zone then he could become a valuable starter. His 20 walks in 69.1 innings is hard to ignore, and is something that definitely needs to be worked on.

There likely won’t be too many teams jumping for a 32-year-old rookie this off-season. It’s understandable ABD doesn’t want to return to the minors. Hopefully the Rangers can find a way to bring him back in 2018.