Texas Rangers: Is the time to pay Alex Claudio coming soon?

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 20: Relief pitcher Alex Claudio
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 20: Relief pitcher Alex Claudio /

Alex Claudio is a player that has the respect of many fans of the Texas Rangers. Claudio is coming off a fantastic 2017 season. Claudio is earning his respect. The time to giving Claudio a long-term contract is approaching. The Rangers should be prepared to put a reasonable offer on the table.

Claudio played in 70 games this season. Amassing a 4-2 record, Claudio earned eleven saves, seven holds, and four blown saves. He did start in one game in a losing effort against Houston. He pitched 82.2 innings, finishing with a 2.50 ERA. According to Evan Grant, Claudio became the first relief pitcher in nine years to pitch 80 innings. The Texas Rangers are, without a doubt, proud of Claudio.

MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reported that the Texas Rangers awarded Claudio the Texas Rangers Pitcher of the Year award. Sullivan further states Claudio is the ninth pitcher to win the award since 1973 and is the first left-hander to win it. This season, Claudio was a guiding light who was making a strong impact on the team. His strong performances were helping the Rangers to stay alive in the playoff hunt. When the Rangers made the decision to remove Matt Bush from closing duties, giving the opportunity to Claudio. Claudio took advantage of his golden opportunity and managed to make the best of it. So does Alex Claudio deserve a big contract?

More from Texas Rangers News

To be honest, it’s not time yet, but the time is certainly coming. The Rangers need to be very careful about giving big contracts to young and uprising players.

Claudio is certainly making his way to becoming a star player, however, he’s not quite there yet. Claudio is still learning and he’s not yet in his prime, which is certainly good for the Rangers. Once Claudio is ready and is pitching at an elite level, the time to give a big contract will arrive. One thing’s for sure, and that’s him making progress.

At the present time, Claudio is not the team’s official closer. That’s no surprise due to the fact that during every Spring Training, manager Jeff Banister has everyone competing for starting roles. This coming Spring, he’s likely to compete with Keone Kela for the role of closer.

Claudio has got to be the favorite to earn the role. Whether he’s a reliever or the closer, Claudio will be in a position he earned.