Texas Rangers avoid arbitration, agree deals with eligible players

On the final day to agree deals before arbitration, the Texas Rangers came to agreements with all three eligible players for the 2020 season.

Friday marked the final day for clubs to settle with arbitration-eligible players before their contract proceedings were taken before an arbiter. The Texas Rangers had a trio of players that were eligible for arbitration this season after other eligible players, Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields, were traded earlier in the offseason. All three current eligible Rangers made notable impacts in 2019 and should factor in heavily during the 2020 season.

The most prominent name entering arbitration for Texas is outfielder Joey Gallo who was in the midst of a breakout season in 2019 before a broken hamate bone required surgery, derailing his year. Gallo has risen to the top of the organization and looks the most likely to be the face of the franchise over the coming years assuming he and the club agree to stay together long term. Gallo was projected to earn $4 million through arbitration according to MLB Trade Rumors but actually settled with Texas above the estimate. Jon Heyman reports that Gallo and the Rangers agreed to a $4.4 million figure for the 2020 season.

Danny Santana was named the Player of the Year for the Texas Rangers by the DFW Chapter of the BWAA. He had a stellar season for Texas as a super-utility man and regularly was a catalyst for their offense. As of now, he looks slotted to be the club’s starting center fielder next season. MLBTR projected Santana to earn $3.9 million through arbitration this season but he and the club agreed to a $3.6 million deal for next year per Jon Heyman.

The last eligible player the Rangers had this offseason was reliever Rafael Montero. While Montero didn’t play quite the role last season that Gallo and Santana did, however he still had a breakout season of sorts which should see him factor in heavily in 2020 if he follows the same course. Last season, Montero posted a 2.48 ERA in 22 relief appearances and posted a 10.6 K/9 rate. Robert Murray, previously of The Athletic, reported that Texas and Montero agreed to a  $785K number for the 2020 season. That comes in shy of MLBTR’s projection of $900K.

The impact of these deals isn’t massive as it really doesn’t change anything in terms of payroll. However, it is nice to come to an agreement and avoid arbitration which can sometimes result in a tumultuous process. I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see the Rangers and Joey Gallo continue discussing a long-term deal, especially if Gallo continues on the path he started last season. The Rangers haven’t had an arbitration hearing with a player since Lee Stevens back in 2000 and that streak will remain alive, at least for one more offseason.

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