The Texas Rangers’ 2022 season is winding down and it’s not ending the way many had hoped. Projected to win 73-78 games, most fans had hoped to finish closer, if not above .500.
Unfortunately, after an expensive offseason that saw them spend over half a billion dollars, that did not come to fruition. Offense hasn’t necessarily been the issue as the Rangers rank 11th in runs scored, outperforming three current playoff teams.
Pitching wasn’t neglected in that expenditure as they signed Jon Gray and brought back Martin Perez; those two have been the best starting pitchers for Texas this year. However, even with both having career years the rotation has been a weak spot for the team. Texas ranks in the bottom third of the league in total runs allowed even with a decent bullpen performance. The rotation itself ranks 25th in inning pitched per game and 22nd in quality starts. There really isn’t much of a bright spot either as they rank in the bottom 12 of just about every category.
Texas does plan to continue their spending spree this winter with starting pitching being the focal point, With Chris Young’s statement of “no stones left unturned”, to go along with arguably the deepest farm system in the game, you can be sure there will be heavy trade talks. But who will be available and fits the profile of what Texas is looking for?
3 starting pitchers the Texas Rangers should trade for this winter
1. Corbin Burnes
Career stats: 3.29 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 11.7 K/9
Burnes had a rough first 2 years in the major leagues, bouncing between the rotation and bullpen before finally breaking out in the shortened 2020 season that saw him post a 2.11 ERA and finishing sixth for the Cy Young. In the 2021 campaign he finished the job being named the NL Cy Young award winner after a season that saw him carry a 2.43 ERA with a 12.6 K/9 into the playoffs.
This year, the 27-year-old hasn’t been as dominate this year with a 3.12 ERA but a front line starter, absolutely. Milwaukee would like to extend their Ace pitcher but there has been no signs of extension talks between the two parties. Burnes isn’t a free agent until 2024 but with the lack of contract extension talks, rumors are spreading of the likeliness he is dealt.
With the Brewers’ top prospect rankings littered with outfielders and needing infield help, they’re a perfect match for the Texas Rangers. A deal centered around one of Duran/Foscue with the addition of a starting pitcher and a prospect ranking 15-30 should be enough to seal the deal. Burnes would immediately slot in at the top of the rotation as a proven playoff pitcher.