With free agency officially starting, the Texas Rangers can begin the fun part of exiting a rebuild: buying new players. Now that the horrid 2021 season is behind us, we can begin to dream of a brighter 2022 and what new players can do for our beloved Rangers.
Luckily, Texas has a ton to spend on a fantastic free-agent class. We’re also just going to ignore the giant, elephant-labeled CBA negations.
No, the Rangers won’t buy a whole new team but they could boost their payroll by $75-$100 million AAV and still be below league average. So approaching the roster-building, the likeliest additions would be an infielder, a starting pitcher, and an outfielder.
There are plenty of different directions to go in here though. Infield being the deepest group in the Rangers minor leagues may factor in. Outfield may not be viewed as a priority and starting pitching could be addressed with the classic 3 year deal with a middle-of-the-rotation arm. And no, the Rangers won’t buy a whole new team but they could boost their payroll by $75 million AAV and still be below league average.
So I’ll be giving predictions for a trio of players in packages that could help turn the tide. I’ll try to update this as Free agency progresses as well as use the “I didn’t mean that” and “I told you so” phrases. Mostly the former.
Texas Rangers Free Agency Package 1 ($58 million AAV)
- Clayton Kershaw (33), SP – 4 years/$85 million
- Trevor Story (29), SS – 8 years/$200 million
- Seiya Suzuki (27), OF – 4 years/ $48 million
This package just feels like destiny. It has homecoming stories, includes a Hall of Famer, a hopeful, and a newcomer. Hope and security all rolled into one.
Kershaw wouldn’t be signed as an ace. He seems to be trending in the wrong direction and has battled injuries the past few years. Do you know what he is though? A darn good pitcher. He would anchor down an incredibly youthful rotation. He could set the tone and demeanor, helping guide this young core of starters. Oh, and his numbers would still be better than anyone who donned a Rangers uniform last year.
Story is the hopeful one hear. He’ll only be 29 for 2022 and even though he’s shown a lot over the past 6 years there’s still more for him to do. MLBTR recently published their predictions and have Story signing a 6 year/$126 million contract. The Rangers should jump at that opportunity to pull the trigger on that given most saw him as the best FA available before his down year. However, it’s that down year that gives Story more to prove.
One thing that shouldn’t scare Rangers fans though is his departure from Coors Field. Across 9 games in Arlington, he was 10-34 with 5 home runs. Also when looking at Globe Life Field directly, you can compare it to two other parks, Minute Maid in Houston and Chase Field in Arizona. At those 2 parks, he hit .284 with 11 home runs in 48 games over the past 4 years. When coming home, he’ll have the ability to show he belongs in the top tier of players. I also believe he’ll still go north of that prediction in both years and value.
Suzuki is the newcomer to the league. A bodybuilder-esque frame can leave many to dream of the power he can bring. The Japanese star just finished a monster year where he hit for a .319 average and had 38 homers. He separates himself from others coming over from Japan by keeping a relatively low strikeout rate, excellent zone management. His walk rate in Japan would only be outdone by the great Joey Gallo. Also, He plays an adequate OF, keeping the DH position available for whoever the Rangers hang onto (Calhoun?). Suzuki is the best player to come over since Ohtani and the Rangers would be wise to go after him.