It’s no secret that the Texas Rangers need outfield help. And two of the position’s top free agents are of interest to the team: Cody Bellinger and Mitch Haniger.
Bellinger is new to the free-agent foray after being non-tendered by the Dodgers last week. At 27, he’s not looking for a long-term commitment and could be a prime change of scenery candidate for a team like the Rangers. Of note to Rangers fans: Bellinger is tight with Corey Seager, which could play into the interest Texas has.
Cody Bellinger would be a buy-low upgrade option in the outfield for the Texas Rangers in 2023
The former Dodger has regressed significantly since his 2019 MVP campaign, but his ability to play all outfield spots and first base has to be appealing to Texas Rangers GM Chris Young as he seeks to build a well-rounded roster. The fact that he’s a Boras client also factors in positively for the Rangers, who have a good relationship with the super-agent. Coupled with the desire for a shorter-term commitment, Bellinger is the type of upside the Texas Rangers could plug in for 2023 alongside Adolis Garcia in the outfield.
Another name of interest to the Rangers? Mitch Haniger. Texas knows Haniger well from his time with the Seattle Mariners. He didn’t receive the qualifying offer in a mild surprise, meaning he’s free to pursue without the loss of draft capital. That’s always a plus when deciding whether to make a run at a player.
One of the big knocks on Haniger is his injury history: an ankle problem limited the veteran to just 58 games played in 2022. However, he’s a force in the middle of a lineup when healthy, as he smashed 38 home runs and drove in 100 runs in 2021 and 26 homers in 2018. That kind of potential, combined with the Texas Rangers’ desperate need of outfield help, makes Haniger a similar type of buy-low bounceback candidate that, health-presuming, would be a massive boost to the Rangers’ outfield mix.
Mitch Haniger also makes sense as an outfield upgrade for the Texas Rangers in 2023
Both Cody Bellinger and Mitch Haniger make sense for the Texas Rangers as free agency fits, upgrading both the lineup and the outfield position for the team. And neither should cost a ransom, making either player a reasonable enough upgrade as the team looks to turn a corner in 2023.