$561 million was the amount spent by the Texas Rangers before the lockout.
Of that $561 million, only $56 million was allocated to pitching help in the form of Jon Gray. That meant the Rangers spent a grand total of… $505 million on lineup additions (Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Kole Calhoun).
That’s a whole lot of offense and not a whole lot of pitching. It’s not that Texas didn’t need to address its lineup, it did in a bad way. Now, their bats look pretty good.
Therefore, the new focus must be starting pitching upgrades. While Clayton Kershaw’s name has been floated around in rumors, he’s no lock to sign with the Rangers, so it’s time to evaluate the other options for pitching upgrades.
In particular, three teams (other than the Cincinnati Reds) could be of use to Texas in their pursuit.
3 teams the Texas Rangers can target in trades for pitching help
They’re having a fire sale, in case you forgot. Everyone’s available, from star first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman to their pitching.
Speaking of, how about some of that pitching talent?
Oakland has a number of intriguing options including ace Chris Bassitt, lefty Sean Manaea and righty Frankie Montas. Cole Irvin and James Kaprielian (whom the Rangers saw plenty of in 2021) figure to be available as well, but they’re younger and would likely cost more than the first three names.
Bassitt, Manaea and Montas are all quality MLB starters and each possess decent amounts of upside. Manaea is a soft-tossing lefty, while Bassitt and Montas will attack hitters with power stuff.
The Rangers’ staff is bad enough that any of these three could be the ace of the staff in 2022 if acquired. Sorry, Jon Gray. Of course, Bassitt has been Oakland’s ace, so his experience in that role could make him even more desirable.