The Texas Rangers need pitching. This lefty from Colorado could help.
Even though the Texas Rangers just drafted Kumar Rocker this year and Jack Leiter last year, and have many more talented pitching prospects on the farm, they are not ready to be here now, and quite frankly, we do not know if they’ll ever actually pan out to become effective pitchers at the big league level.
What we do know is that the current Rangers team has two incredibly effective pitchers in the rotation in the form of Jon Gray and Martin Perez, who both are likely to hang around Texas for a while, and not much else.
As the Rangers look to be a contender sooner, rather than later, they need to be looking for some long-term assistance in the pitching department. Who better to do that than a quality pitcher on a losing team, who just signed a long-term contract extension? That pitcher would be Kyle Freeland.
While the Rockies have said they aren’t looking to be major sellers at the deadline, perhaps their lackluster performance at the big league level and a farm system that, while it is improving vastly, is still a few years away from being overly effective, as they ranked 24th in the league at the beginning of this season.
To go along with that, not many teams give a player a contract extension and flip the player in the same season. He is clearly in the Rockies’ future plans, as they have him locked up with a player’s option through 2027, making $64.5 million over the next five years. However, would some talent additions to their minor league teams change their minds?
The Rockies, in their current position, should certainly listen to any offers made their way, and the Rangers’ depth on the farm in numerous positions could certainly assist with enticing the Rockies with the right offer. The Rangers should absolutely be looking into this as a possibility.
Why should the Texas Rangers trade for Kyle Freeland?
Freeland has been great away from Coors Field, a park that has been historically rough on pitchers. He has a career ERA of 4.26, which doesn’t jump off the page but in a pitcher’s park like the one the Rangers currently play in, he would surely be much more effective, and the numbers point to that being the case.
Away from Coors Field for his career, he has a 3.90 ERA, has allowed fewer home runs, a lower batting average against, and has more strikeouts, in the same exact amount of games started as he has at home. It’s safe to say getting him away from Coors Field could do him wonders.
Another reason the Rangers might want to take a flier on Freeland is that he has been dominant in the past, and Texas has a good recent track record of reclaiming veteran pitchers. In 2018, he went 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA and finished fourth in the NL in CY Young Award voting. While he hasn’t quite been that dominant of a pitcher since, the Rangers, again, seem to have a way to take veteran pitchers and help them reach their full potential.
They’ve done it with Mike Minor, Kyle Gibson, and now Jon Gray and Martin Perez. Perhaps they could take Freeland and get him back to that dominant pitcher he was in 2018, or at least close to. And at worst? He would still be a proven, effective pitcher for a rotation lacking in many of those right now.
Could the Texas Rangers actually trade for Kyle Freeland?
While this trade isn’t likely to happen, it wouldn’t hurt for the Rangers to inquire with the Rockies and see if they can blow them away with an offer. The offer would likely be less than what it would cost to acquire other pitchers on the market, like Luis Castillo, Pablo Lopez, or Tarik Skubal, but more than some of the lesser pitchers on the market due to how long Freeland is under contract for.
With all the ammo the Texas Rangers have in young talent down on the farm, it would be a perfect opportunity to capitalize on a controllable pitcher like the 29-year-old Freeland and not give up too much in the process.
If the Texas Rangers were to pull this off, a rotation of Perez, Gray, and Freeland would be phenomenal going forward and would provide the Rangers the pitching stability necessary to bring young pitchers up and the freedom to move some young pitchers as well for help in other areas of the diamond.