The Texas Rangers claimed ownership of the Winter Meetings by signing the best non-tendered free agent available, ending a busy week of roster shuffling.
The Texas Rangers were the most active team in baseball during the Winter Meetings.
Just like we all expected, right?
Well even if you didn’t, it’s objectively true.
That’s right, The Texas Rangers almost single-handedly kept the Hot Stove fire burning throughout the course of an otherwise inactive week.
They capped off a busy session at the virtual Winter Meetings by inking former Colorado Rockies outfielder David Dahl to a one-year contract valued at around $3 million, according to multiple reports.
Dahl, just 26 years old, arrives in Arlington coming off a 2020 campaign in which he suffered injuries, but failed to produce even when on the field.
2020 hasn’t been the greatest year for most people. We can safely count Dahl among those who would prefer to leave this year behind.
Playing in just 24 games this past season, the former Rockie posted a scant .470 OPS and putrid 19 OPS+ over 93 at-bats.
Of course, we’ll cut the 2012 first round selection out of high school some slack for his poor production in 2020 due to those aforementioned injuries.
We’ll also cut him some slack knowing he has a career .828 OPS and 103 OPS+, statistics that indicate when Dahl is healthy, he’s very effective at the dish.
While Dahl definitely benefitted from playing home games at hitter-friendly Coors Field, his talent exudes itself on the diamond regardless.
Dahl, not unlike new teammate Joey Gallo, broke out as recently as 2019, doing so to the tune of 15 home runs, a blistering .353 on-base percentage, an .877 OPS and a 110 OPS+ over 100 games played.
Those numbers earned the four-year outfielder an All-Star selection, his only one to date.
David Dahl also fits the perfect prototype for a Texas Rangers acquisition. He’s young (26), controllable (not a free agent until 2024), affordable (signed for $3 million) and fills a need in left field, a position where the Rangers had limited options prior to the Dahl signing.
Not to mention, Dahl also possesses major upside. If he’s able to attain said upside, Texas could flip him for assets at the 2021 trade deadline.
Yet, if the team somehow emerges as competitive in 2021, Dahl is young enough that the Rangers could opt to retain the stud outfielder and his plus hit tool going forward.
With Dahl reportedly in tow, the Texas Rangers now boast a starting outfield (assuming health) of David Dahl, Leody Taveras and Joey Gallo in left field, center field and right field, respectively.
If all of the above mentioned players live up to their potential (and Dahl avoids extended stints on the Injured List), that unit could be pretty formidable for a team supposedly mired in a rebuilding process.
Of course, health is a BIG if for Dahl, who is tagged as injury prone. This is a rightful designation, as Dahl has yet to play a full 162-game season in his big-league career.
His injury history likely factored into him being non-tendered by Colorado in the first place, and therefore being available on the cheap.
Still, when a player of Dahl’s caliber is on the market, a team would be foolish not to consider bringing him aboard given his potential.
The main takeaway from all of this? Good luck trying to find a downside to this signing for the Texas Rangers.
Perhaps the Winter Meetings should be virtual every year…