Free agents from AL West rivals the Texas Rangers could steal this winter

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The Texas Rangers will be looking far and wide for roster upgrades this winter, but perhaps they don’t have to stray too far from their own division to find those additions.

Chris Young and company know their AL West rivals quite well, considering they play each of the other four teams 19 times a year. The Houston Astros just won the 2022 World Series, and who better to poach from than the new champions of baseball? The Seattle Mariners just made the playoffs for the first time in two decades as well, so their roster could be privy for plundering.  Even the bottom-feeding Angels and Athletics have talent that the Rangers could stand to poach.

Free agents the Texas Rangers could steal from their AL West rivals

Let’s examine which free agents the Texas Rangers could steal from their AL West rivals, starting with the…

Nov 3, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Rafael Montero (47) pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during the eighth inning in game five of the 2022 World Series at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros

They just captured their second World Series title in six seasons (although 2017 probably shouldn’t count…) and are the gold standard for building a consistent winner.

Houston has a number of names that could be useful to the Rangers in 2023. Among them? Justin Verlander, reliever Rafael Montero and outfielder Michael Brantley.

All three of those players could shore up major Texas weaknesses, specifically Verlander in the rotation, Montero in the bullpen and Brantley the outfield. Verlander and Brantley would be new Rangers, while Montero was with the club in 2019-2020.

Of these three names, Justin Verlander would probably make the most sense to pursue because of a glaring need for elite level starting pitching, but a reunion with Montero, given how good he was for the Astros, would greatly bolster a middle-of-the-pack Rangers bullpen while also weakening the champs.

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