The Texas Rangers made a big splash to begin the Winter Meetings, signing ace pitcher Jacob deGrom following a 68-94 season that saw the Rangers finish in 4th place in the American League West. The Ranger’s pitching staff was a glaring issue as it ranked 25th in the league, and even after the deGrom signing, the staff still needs work.
Owner Ray Davis has committed to spending big on pitchers this offseason, and has lived up to that so far. First, last year’s ace Martin Perez returned after accepting the Qualifying Offer and they acquired Jake Odorizzi from Atlanta. Then, they signed the aforementioned deGrom. As currently constructed the Ranger’s rotation looks like this:
1. Jacob deGrom
2. Martin Perez
3. Jon Gray
4. Jake Odorizzi
5. Dane Dunning/Cole Ragans/Glenn Otto
As you can see, help on the back end is still needed. Let’s look at three potential upgrades for the rotation in the trade market for the Texas Rangers.
3 underrated pitchers the Texas Rangers could trade for this winter
1. An underrated arm in Detroit
Spencer Turnbull has proven himself to be one of the better arms for the Detroit Tigers. The major question surrounding him is how he will perform following Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for the 2022 season. Turnbull had a good season during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season posting a 3.97 ERA while striking out 51 over 56.2 innings.
In 2021 for the Tigers, Turnbull was enjoying a breakout season until it was cut short. Despite only starting 9 games and pitching 50 innings, he was establishing himself as an ace for the rebuilding Tigers. Turnbull went 4-2 with a 2.88 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and 12 walks for the Tigers before undergoing Tommy John Surgery and missing the entire 2022 season.
Entering his age 30 season, Turnbull is expected to be ready and healthy to start the 2023 season. With team control through 2025 and the breakout he had in 2021, he is someone the Rangers should look into as they look for rotation upgrades. If healthy he could slide in behind Jacob deGrom in the rotation, giving the Rangers a strong 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation.