Finding a Texas Rangers trade for pitching with the Cincinnati Reds

CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 05: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Great American Ball Park on September 05, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 05: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Great American Ball Park on September 05, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 16: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on September 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 16: Tyler Mahle #30 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game at PNC Park on September 16, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Tyler Mahle

Tyler Mahle is the youngest of the three starters and is coming off of the best season of his career in 2021.

Mahle made 33 starts in 2021, posting a 3.75 ERA over 180 innings and striking out 210. He posted an ERA+ of 127 and had a FIP of 3.80 last season.

The 27-year old Mahle isn’t a household name, but has had some decent numbers over the past few seasons. However, looking at his advanced metrics, nothing is particularly incredible about him.

In 2021, Mahle was pretty average in all of the major pitching categories, except Hard Hit Percentage and Strikeout Percentage.

However, while nothing stood out statistically league wide, Mahle was the Reds most consistent starter in 2021. What did stand out about Mahle, though, was that he led his team in strikeouts and was tied for first in a number of other major statistical categories. I’m not quite sure how to read into that, though. Were the Reds just that bad, or did Mahle take a huge step forward?

Considered a three-pitch pitcher, Mahle features a four-seamer, slider and splitter, but only uses the latter 15.8% of the time.

Mahle is also controllable via arbitration through the 2024 season, making around $2.5 million last season and is projected to make around $5.6 million this upcoming season.

Here would be my best offer for Mahle.

I believe Mahle, at best, is a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm, but with a couple years of affordable control, he could turn a corner in Texas.

Getting him out of Great American Ballpark will only help him out, too, as Mahle had better road numbers in 2021.

Final Thoughts

Any of these three starters would bolster a Texas Rangers rotation that desperately needs some help.

While I’m not knocking the talent of guys like Dunning, Hearn and company, having a veteran presence like Sonny Gray or Luis Castillo would only make those young guys better.

It’s not known whether the Rangers would want to pony up the prospects to land a guy like Luis Castillo, or take a gamble on a, for now, one-season wonder like Tyler Mahle.

Which leads me to believe that Sonny Gray would be the most likely to wear red, white and blue next season.

While there are plenty of free agents still available, including Kershaw and Rodon, their price range might force the Rangers out of their markets. And with plenty of minor league depth up the middle, why not try and deal from that area of strength to land another controllable starter.

What direction would you go if you had it your way? The trade market or free agency? The big fish or a budget deal?

Next. Jon Gray can be the Rangers' next veteran pitcher success story. dark

Let me know your thoughts and trade proposals on Twitter. You can find us @NolanWritinFS and @PTylerHenderson

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