2024 Texas Rangers Spring Training Preview: First Base

Spring training is almost two weeks away and so lets preview the first base position for the Texas Rangers as we get closer to camp.
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven / Bob Levey/GettyImages
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Is it time for an extension for Nathaniel Lowe?

I think it is time for Texas to determine if they want Lowe for the long term. Lowe is 28 and will turn 29 this July. He is in the prime of his career and will be a free agent after the 2026 season. Texas right now is going year to year with him through the arbitration process. Lowe in his second season of arbitration and is half way to free agency. He will hit free agency after the 2026 season. Texas can continue to go year to year with Lowe. Lowe will see his salary increase from $4 million to $7.5 million for 2024. He will have two more arbitration years after this.

Texas can also decide to extend the first baseman now and probably lock him in at a lower rate. They would be buying out the last two arbitration seasons plus however many free agency seasons Lowe is willing to sacrifice. If they wait and Lowe does have a great season that would add to how much they will have to pay him next year in arbitration and then in his final season before free agency.

The question becomes do they view Lowe as the long-term first baseman? Right now the answer to that question would probably be no. Without a long-term contract in place, it appears they are content with letting Lowe walk in 2026 when he will be 31-years old. If Lowe performs as well as his talent suggests then it might make it hard for Texas to not extend him for multiple seasons.

Next: Who will provide depth at first base in 2024?