Temporary Closer: Rafael Montero
Rafael Montero has flown under the radar a bit as a trade candidate partially because he’s overshadowed by potentially the biggest fish in all of the MLB, Texas Rangers’ ace Lance Lynn. But Montero is sure to be garnering some interest from around the league as a controllable and cheap late-inning reliever. The 29-year old has stepped in as the club’s temporary closer with Jose Leclerc on the IL long-term and performed admirably.
He won’t be viewed as a closer for most interested buyers but he still should carry some value because he isn’t a rental, a label that basically dispels all trade value in these current times. However, for all the value Montero brings to other teams he also brings that value to the Texas Rangers. Texas has the foundations of a very strong bullpen with multiple controllable players in the late-inning mix. Do they hold onto that group or rely on their ability to churn out high leverage relievers regularly of late?
Rafael Montero, while a very important piece for the current Texas Rangers’ bullpen, is also somewhat expendable for 2021 and beyond. Jose Leclerc should be back by next season and Jonathan Hernandez has emerged as one of the top young relievers in all of baseball. With Joely Rodriguez, Kyle Cody and Taylor Hearn all in the bullpen now and returning next year plus plenty of relievers nearing big league looks (i.e. Demarcus Evans) Texas would be wise to try and capitalize on Montero’s career-high value now.