Wacha isn’t quite up to par with Bumgarner, Cole, or Sale; however, he’s a quality pitcher that will be far more affordable than those three.
Health is the key for Wacha. He had a good run of health from 2015 to 2017, but an injury disrupted a 2018 season that was on pace to be his best one yet. The right-hander went 8-2 with a 3.20 ERA before being sidelined in June. He did not make another appearance.
He went to high school in Texarkana, TX and graduated college from Texas A&M University. Perhaps his roots will play favorably if the Rangers negotiate with him.
Wacha settled on $6.35 million for 2019 with the Cardinals in his final year of arbitration. A decent 2019 season should warrant an AAV of roughly $10 million once he hits free agency. A deal similar to Lance Lynn‘s 3-year/$30 million may be able to draw Wacha to Texas.
Again, he wouldn’t be the show-stopper that the previously mentioned starters would be, but he would definitely be a great talent to stick in the middle of the Texas Rangers’ rotation.