The Texas Rangers made quite a surprising move last week. Not only a surprising move but perhaps a very risky move. They sent two of their minor league prospects to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for starting pitcher Matt Moore.
As part of the deal, the Texas Rangers agreed to pay the full $9 million that Moore is owed for the 2018 season. His deal also includes a 2019 option for $10 million.
Moore, 28, is coming off a terrible 2017 season. He finished 6-15 with an ERA of 5.52. Moore has not been the same since his Tommy John Surgery in 2014. He’s been unable to return to his all-star form. 12 Up’s Pete Lambos believes that the Rangers made a big mistake acquiring Moore. Yes, the Rangers certainly took a big risk bringing him in because of his struggles in the past since his surgery, but is this acquisition truly worth the risk?
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The Rangers’ biggest need for improvement is the pitching rotation. The Rangers are in a position where they can’t refuse on an experienced starting pitcher. So in their case, the risk is worth it.
Last season, Moore allowed a career-high of 27 home runs and his 15 losses put him in a four-way tie for second worst in the league. That’s certainly worrisome, but the truth of the matter is that his allowing of 27 homers was not the worst in the league. In fact, Yu Darvish allowed 27 homers.
It’s not the first time the Rangers bring in a pitcher who’s looking to revive his career. The Rangers are known for signing struggling players to give them a shot of picking themselves up and playing good baseball again. Arlington is the land of opportunity to troubled and struggling baseball players that other clubs have no interest in.
Moore has an opportunity to pull himself back together and rebuild himself. The Rangers made a risk bringing him in, but again, the Rangers are desperate to make their rotation good and can’t afford pass on experienced veteran pitchers.
We can’t immediately assume Moore will struggle in 2018 because he’s coming off a bad year. In other words, we can’t judge the book by its cover. Moore will report to Spring Training and we’ll see how it plays out from there. He’s going to have to earn his spot on the team. He’s not guaranteed anything.