Texas Rangers: Will A.J. Griffin Be Back in Arlington Next Season?
By Andrew Webb
Rebuilding the starting rotation is the most important issue for the Texas Rangers this winter. They’ve already signed veteran Doug Fister, but could we see A.J. Griffin departing to open more room on the roster?
The Texas Rangers have until 7 p.m. CT on Friday to decide whether or not they will offer arbitration to six different players. Most are expected to receive offers, but A.J. Griffin and Nick Martinez are among the candidates that could be headed elsewhere.
The Rangers still need to fill two starting rotation spots, but neither Griffin nor Martinez have made enough of an impact to claim a spot. Both pitchers have struggled heavily and could be headed on their way out.
Last season Griffin went 6-6 with a 5.94 ERA in 18 games (15 starts) with Texas. He’s had problems staying healthy, hitting the disabled list three times in last two seasons. Has the 29-year-old done enough to keep him around?
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Griffin has a 5.41 ERA since joining the Rangers, and it’s honestly surprising he’s lasted this long. Injury issues cost Griffin the 2014 season and basically the entire 2015 season. He’s put together a few solid performances with Texas, but not enough to sign him for another season.
Keeping Martinez around is the better move for Texas. The 27-year-old has been recalled or sent down from the Minors 13 times already. Martinez went 3-8 with a 5.66 ERA in 23 games (18 starts) with Texas last season.
Unlike Griffin, Martinez has been the most durable Rangers’ pitcher over the last four seasons. He only missed two weeks in 2014, but besides that has been ready to roll since day one. He’s struggled lately, but not enough to completely let him go.
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Griffin is expected to receive a salary in the $2-3 million range. Martinez will be beginning his arbitration process which means he’ll make significantly less than Griffin. It’s time to part ways with Griffin, but Martinez has potential and is worth keeping at a low-cost.