Texas Rangers: Can The Rangers Land Jake Arrieta?
The Texas Rangers have to rebuild their starting rotation this offseason. With a thin starting pitching market, the Rangers could try to land one of the most sought-after pitchers this offseason. With the Winter Meetings looming and as the Hot Stove heats up, how can the Rangers bring Jake Arrieta to Arlington?
There’s no question that Jake Arrieta is one of the most highly sought after pitchers this winter, along with ex-Ranger Yu Darvish. Of course, just about anyone associated with the Texas Rangers would love to see Arrieta step on the mound in Texas red, white, and blue against the Houston Astros on Opening Day. How the Rangers can sign him this offseason is a bit of a mystery.
First, Arrieta is a candidate for several teams. Starting pitching is at a premium, and teams with deep pockets will do anything to sign a pitcher like Arrieta. Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young winner, should have plenty of offers to consider. The Rangers would need to be able to compete with any offer any other team can make.
With that said, the Rangers have the money to spend to bring Arrieta to Arlington. However, they would be spending at least half of what they have available this offseason. Consequently, the Rangers have three rotation spots to fill, as well as one arm for the bullpen, and another outfielder. Spending half of your available funds on one player isn’t very economical.
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An option the Rangers have is to free up some payroll is dangling Shin-Soo Choo to other teams. Choo will make $20 million this season and is owed $21 million per season in 2019 and 2020. If the Rangers could pull off a salary dump and eat some of Choo’s contract, it could free up money that would make signing Arrieta more realistic. With Choo’s age and cost, it wouldn’t be easy to get a team to bite on that trade.
Ultimately, this will come down to how General Manager Jon Daniels wants to allocate the funds available to him. The Rangers are high on Shohei Ohtani and will do what they can to land the Japanese phenom. Pitchers like Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn, or bringing back Andrew Cashner would be much more economical for the Rangers. The Rangers could also try to make the Colby Lewis magic happen again and bring back Miles Mikolas, who’s been tearing it up in Japan the last three years.
Bringing in a big game pitcher like Arrieta would be a major upgrade to the Rangers rotation. There are a lot of variables in the equation, however. The Rangers can make Jake Arrieta a Ranger, but it will be costly.