The Texas Rangers enter 2021 Spring Training without many quality southpaw starting options.
This isn’t an uncommon trend across MLB, as many teams don’t have left-handed starters, let alone a left-handed ace (unless we’re talking Clayton Kershaw, prime Chris Sale and David Price or even the Mariners’ Marco Gonzales, of course.)
But having a lefty in the rotation would help to balance and spread out the multitude of right-handed pitchers the Rangers have, as well as having another player to eat innings and provide leadership to a relatively youthful staff.
However, none of those names are exactly drumming up a ton of confidence at the moment, between combined lack of establishment and health concerns.
Luckily, Texas still has options to sift through on the free agent market to bolster their left-handed pitching depth, including these three.
Texas Rangers lefty starter free agent option: Cole Hamels
How about bringing back a familiar name, like veteran southpaw Cole Hamels?
Originally acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies at the 2015 trade deadline ahead of the Rangers’ playoff run that year, Hamels provided a big boost to the team’s pitching staff.
The 37 year-old spent four years in Texas, finishing with a 3.90 ERA in 88 total starts and 546.2 innings pitched in Arlington (including postseason).
Hamels has spent the last three years- two with the Chicago Cubs, where he was effective- and 2020 with the Atlanta Braves, where he suffered injuries and made just one start.
From what we gathered, Hamels loved his tenure with the Texas Rangers and based on that, might be willing to come back on a one-year deal in 2021.
He likely won’t command a large salary figure, either, making him a great fit for the Rangers’ budget and timeline.