Reports: Texas Rangers extend closer Jose Leclerc’s contract
By Travis Koch
The Texas Rangers have reportedly extended the contract of closer Jose Leclerc. A great move for a ball club that is focusing on future success.
Per reports, the Texas Rangers have extended Jose Leclerc’s contract. The 25-year-old had a phenomenal 2018 season, posting a 1.56 ERA, a sub-1.00 WHIP, and 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings. He stepped in as the Texas closer once Keone Kela was traded and immediately established himself as the closer of the future.
Rangers insider Evan Grant laid out the details of the extension on Twitter:
This is by all means a win for the Texas Rangers. Leclerc is young and he took a massive step forward a season ago. The organization obviously believes his 2018 success will be sustained for a long time to come.
Leclerc was expected to be a major trade chip prior to this year’s trade deadline. Texas got a lot in return for Kela at last year’s deadline, so fans were salivating at the possible return that a supreme talent like Leclerc would warrant.
Swapping him for prospects is a nice idea, but why trade someone who is just entering his prime?
Personally, I was on board with trading Leclerc to a contender later this season. I figured it’d be worth finding a replacement at closer if the Rangers could acquire an elite starting pitching or position playing prospect.
Though, I’ve also been in favor of keeping and extending Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara — two players who are just entering their primes. It seems pointless to trade young, proven players for younger, unproven players.
Texas should capitalize on the great talent they currently have at the big league level. They did with Rougned Odor, and now they have with Jose Leclerc.
Not too often does a team come across a stud closer. When it happens, the team better make the most of the closer’s best years. We saw what Neftali Feliz accomplished for the Rangers when he was at his best.
Fingers crossed that Leclerc stays healthy. If he does, the rest of major league baseball will be on high alert. The Texas Rangers locked up a great one!