Texas Rangers: Two players due for contract extensions in 2020

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JULY 01: Texas Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels talks with the media following the announcement that the game between the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels has been postponed at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 01, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. The game was postponed following an announcement made by the Los Angeles Angels that pitcher Tyler Skaggs had died. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JULY 01: Texas Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels talks with the media following the announcement that the game between the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels has been postponed at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 01, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. The game was postponed following an announcement made by the Los Angeles Angels that pitcher Tyler Skaggs had died. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TEXAS – JULY 16: Joey Gallo #13 of the Texas Rangers celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the fourth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 16, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – JULY 16: Joey Gallo #13 of the Texas Rangers celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the fourth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 16, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

2. OF Joey Gallo (signed through 2023)

The time-sensitive nature of Mike Minor is the reason why he should be the Rangers top priority for a contract extension this year. On talent and future value though, Texas should be making a long-term deal with Joey Gallo a crucial focus of the 2020 season. Gallo isn’t headed out the door anytime soon without an extension, but Texas would be wise to find a team-friendly extension that makes Gallo a Ranger for the majority of his career.

Gallo has always had the talent to become the face of the Rangers franchise and in 2019, he emerged as a potential superstar in the league. Despite a campaign limited to just 70 games, Gallo posted a career-high 3.3 fWAR hitting .253 with a .958 OPS. For the first chunk of the season Gallo was a potential MVP candidate and could be a dark horse for the award in 2020. Steamer projections for next season predict regression by Gallo but the organization seems to think the improvements he made at the plate last season are long-term changes.

Beyond his ability at the plate, Gallo emerged as a legitimate outfielder with plus-defensive ability. His time last season came predominantly in center field but he’ll get the starting job in right field moving forward. His defensive ability in right field gives him the potential to be among the best right fields in the game. He only has 128 career innings in right field but his 35.2 UZR/150 are signs of elite defensive potential.

With that in mind, it would make sense for Texas to invest in Gallo long-term. He’s the top talent in the organization and heading towards the prime of his career. Knowing that Texas has had trouble finding elite level talent recently, making sure Gallo is patrolling right field in Globe Life Field for the better part of the next decade would be smart business and would give Gallo the pay raise he deserves. In CBS Sports piece on the top 10 contract extension candidates in 2020, they linked Gallo with a deal in the neighborhood of Kyle Seager’s seven-year, $100 million contract.

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