Nearly a year ago to date, the Texas Rangers committed $500 million to the middle infield of their present and future. The fortunate recipients of those funds? Corey Seager and Marcus Semien.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
But coming off a losing 2022 campaign despite solid showing from both star infielders, the Rangers are in the market for starting pitching upgrades as they look to take a step forward in 2023. And with the 2022 Winter Meetings soon to commence from San Diego, the first in-person meetings since 2019, Texas must once again be ready to face the music.
Texas Rangers must approach 2022 Winter Meetings with willingness to spend big again
Pitching is expensive, to say the least. You don’t have to look much further than internally to see evidence of this, when Martin Perez accepted the ~$19 million qualifying offer for the 2023 season.
The Rays just handed Zach Eflin $40 million guaranteed over three years, their largest free agent expenditure ever. Jameson Taillon’s market is reportedly robust, as he’s looking at a contract worth over $15 million annually, more than what the Rangers threw at Jon Gray last winter. And these are just mid-rotation starters. Now imagine what the top dogs could receive this winter. You know, Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodon, Kodai Senga and that crew.
And if the Texas Rangers have any plans to acquire said top dogs, or even just those crucial rotation depth pieces, Chris Young and company may have to budget more than they intended to here.
It’s not like that should be a problem, though, since they did invest $500 million in two players alone last off-season.
Ultimately, the Texas Rangers shouldn’t just approach the Winter Meetings with a “drunken sailor” mentality, either. Yes, their need for pitching is great, but not at the cost of over-valuing a non-ace. Perhaps a trade for a pitcher like Pablo Lopez could be in the works. Or inquiring with the Brewers about Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes.
However they choose to go about pursuing pitching upgrades in San Diego, one thing is clear: the Texas Rangers must be ready to pony up the cash once again in 2022, just as they did a year ago. At least if they want to make upgrades to their pitching staff that are meaningful.