The Texas Rangers went on a pitching purge Friday night and non-tendered three starters which now makes them free agents. How will these moves impact the Rangers roster next season?
Rebuilding the starting rotation is the Texas Rangers main goal and they made that clear on Friday. The team announced they’ve non-tendered starters A.J. Griffin, Nick Martinez, and Chi Chi Gonzalez which makes them all free agents.
The team has also non-tendered infielder Hanser Alberto who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. Alberto hit .194 with nine RBI in 76 games in Arlington over the 2015 and ’16 seasons.
General manager Jon Daniels wants to manage the payroll, but has not ruled out bringing back Griffin or Martinez, according to T.R. Sullivan. These moves now open up two spots in the rotation behind Cole Hamels, Martin Perez, and Doug Fister.
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It’s not surprising that Griffin was non-tendered after his 2017 campaign. He went 6-6 with a 5.94 ERA in 18 games (15 starts) with Texas. He allowed 20 home runs in 77.1 innings of work, and had issues staying healthy.
Letting go of Martinez is a bit surprising, but the Rangers gave him a fair chance. Martinez has been called up or sent down 13 times since 2014. He was 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA in 88 games (68 starts) in four seasons with the Rangers.
Gonzalez was a first round pick of the Rangers in 2013. He’s expected to miss all of next season after having Tommy John surgery. He pitched well with the Rangers in 2015, and could still be back with Texas on a minor-league deal.
The off-season has just began, but cutting most of the pitching depth is a risky move. Recently acquired Ronald Herrera and youngster Yohander Mendez are the leading candidates to fill out the rotation.
The Rangers have been reportedly interested in top-tier arms this off-season. At least these moves show that Jon Daniels won’t accept below average performances.