Texas Rangers: Now Is The Time For A Big Move

ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 26: Yu Darvish
ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 26: Yu Darvish /

The MLB Winter Meetings are over. The Texas Rangers still have a few holes to fill on their roster. There are still some significant free agents available. Now is the time to make the big move.

Jon Daniels and the Texas Rangers were very patient during this year’s Winter Meetings, making no moves that could steal headlines. The most significant move made this week was signing Arlington’s own Chris Martin as another piece for the bullpen. Martin struggled for most of his brief big-league career but was lights out during the past two years in Japan.

The Rangers were projected by most to have about $40 million to spend this offseason. Jon Daniels has mostly been bargain shopping this winter. He signed Doug Fister to a two-year contract worth $8 million. Daniels has also brought in Kevin Jepsen on a Minor League contract to see if he can reestablish himself as a solid reliever. Tony Barnette was also brought back after the Rangers declined his $4 million option. Barnette’s new deal is a fraction of that option at $1.5 million.

The Mike Minor signing is the only significant move the Rangers have made so far. Minor’s deal is for $28 million over three years. That is the going rate for relievers so far this winter, but the Rangers plan to transition Minor back to the rotation, the role he was in for Atlanta prior to two years without baseball because of shoulder surgery.

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Now, here’s a disclaimer: this is in no way saying that Jon Daniels needs to be trigger happy and jump on a deal that will jeopardize this team’s success in the future. Daniels could definitely have things in the works right now and this article would be moot.

The Texas Rangers need to make a move that heavily impacts the roster. Daniels has to be very open in saying the Rangers are focusing solely on pitching, and just about every rumor has had pitching linked to it. There are ties to Jake ArrietaYu Darvish, and even a potential trade with Arizona bringing Zack Greinke to Texas.

The Rangers need to land one of these three guys. The Houston Astros have an amazing team intact. Seattle is just a couple of pieces away from being a playoff-caliber team. Now the Angels are adding loads of talent via free agency and through trades.

The Rangers shouldn’t make a move just to make headlines. Jon Daniels says he won’t do that. He says that you don’t win games at the Winter Meetings. That is true, however, adding a talented pitcher atop the rotation is necessary. Arrieta and Darvish are sure to be expensive, and Greinke would cost the Rangers in some prospects.

The Rangers have spent $16 million so far this winter, leaving $24 million to spend. The Rangers were also banking on spending $20 million on the posting fee if Shohei Ohtani decided to become a Texas Ranger. It makes more sense to pay retail for Arrieta or Darvish rather than take pieces out of a farm system that needs to be restocked for Greinke.

Paying retail for Arrieta or Darvish can be risky, either one of them are elite pitchers. While Arrieta and Darvish are both on the wrong side of 30, they both keep themselves in great shape. The thought of a five-year contract shouldn’t scare people as much as it will. It does make a bit more sense for the Rangers to reunite with Darvish since they know each other and he knows the American League. Arrieta, however, is a big-game pitcher.

Texas Rangers fans should be more than happy if the Rangers land either one of these guys. They should also be ecstatic if they land Greinke in a deal for marginal prospects and dumps Shin-Soo Choo‘s albatross of a contract. Landing the big fish pitcher is a must for the Rangers. They need a legit arm atop the rotation that can go head to head with the best of the best.