Texas Rangers: Five non-tendered free agents to ponder signing

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CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 29: Billy Hamilton #6 of the Cincinnati Reds its a home run in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park on August 29, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 29: Billy Hamilton #6 of the Cincinnati Reds its a home run in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park on August 29, 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Texas Rangers
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JUNE 06: Hunter Strickland #60 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks at AT&T Park on June 6, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Hunter Strickland

The Rangers desperately need some experience in their bullpen. Strickland, formerly a member of the San Francisco Giants, would be a great option.

The Giants certainly have their own agenda, but letting the hard-throwing right-hander walk certainly seems like a curious decision. He posted a 2.91 ERA over his five years with San Fran and averaged 8.4 strikeouts/nine innings. Last year was Strickland’s worst season to date, but it was still a pretty good one. He notched a 3.97 ERA over 45.1 innings and earned 14 saves.

His fastball velocity is on a downward trend, however. According to Fangraphs, Strickland averaged a fastball velocity of 98.6 in 2013, 97.8 in 2014, 97.9 in ’15, 96.1 in ’17, and 95.7 in ’18. So yes, that is a slight cause for concern, but not so much as to deter the Texas Rangers from signing him.

Again, Texas needs someone with experience in their pen. Someone who won’t scare easily and whose confidence will wear off on those around him. Hunter Strickland has logged a number of postseason innings in his brief career, including four innings in the Giants’ 2014 World Series appearance against the Kansas City Royals. Thus, he’s pitched in the biggest of moments.

He would undoubtedly bring a swagger to the Texas pen. He would also be an ideal candidate to set up Jose Leclerc for save opportunities.

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