A former All-Star for the Atlanta Braves back in 2018, the Texas Rangers employed a similar type of logic when it came to signing Mike Foltynewicz as they did with current closer Ian Kennedy. Give an outcast a chance on a one-year deal, and if they impress, flip them at the trade deadline for some prospects in return.
Thus far, the Kennedy acquisition has worked out to near perfection. While he’s currently on the injured list due to a mild hamstring strain, Kennedy was downright sensational for the Rangers prior to the injury. A 92.3% save percentage and a 2.53 ERA is enough to warrant a decent prospect coming back in return around the trade deadline.
Foltynewicz on the other hand (Folty for short) hasn’t had the same level of success. Following an absolute nightmare start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night, where he allowed 8 hits and 7 earned runs in just 2.2 innings of work, Folty is now 1-7 with a 5.48 ERA on the season.
Needless to say, I don’t think any teams are going to come calling for that around the July deadline.
An understandable gamble at the time, the Mike Foltynewicz signing has not yielded any results for the Texas Rangers this season.
The initial gamble that the Texas Rangers took on Foltynewicz still makes sense in hindsight, as he was a player who had flashed genuine elite potential earlier in his career. His 2.85 ERA in 2018 was very much All-Star worthy, and he even took a no-hitter into the ninth inning on July 30th, 2017.
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However, Foltynewicz began experiencing some elbow discomfort in 2019, an issue that never seemed to get better. The right-hander’s velocity completed tumbled, resulting in below average seasons in both 2019 and 2020. The Braves parted ways with him following one disaster start this past regular season, allowing the Rangers to swoop in with a cheap one-year deal.
Unlike Jordan Lyles (who’s begun to display signs of improvement over the past month or so), it doesn’t appear that Foltynewicz will be able to fetch the Rangers anything at the trade deadline this year. An unfortunate conclusion to come to, but one that shouldn’t effect the Rangers’ ability to acquire some prospects this summer in the grand scheme of things. Kyle Gibson, Joey Gallo, and the before mentioned Kennedy are all likely to be dealt at the deadline, and all three have the numbers to warrant one or two above average prospects coming back in a trade deal.
I totally get where Chris Young’s head was at when he made the initial push for Folty, it just didn’t end up working out. Oh well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯