3 pending free agents the Texas Rangers need to let walk, 2 they need to keep

The Texas Rangers have some tough choices to make this coming offseason as to who to keep and who to let go.
Jul 29, 2023; San Diego, California, USA;  Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (54) throws a
Jul 29, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez (54) throws a / David Frerker-USA TODAY Sports
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Martin Perez had a good run, but it is time for the Rangers to move on

The Rangers surprised many outside observers when they gave Martin Perez the qualifying offer after the 2022 season. Perez was certifiably awesome last season, but it was also the only season in his decade-long career that he had been remotely that good and his peripherals suggested a certain amount of luck being involved. Unsurprisingly, Perez happily signed that offer as almost $20 million for one season of work is hard to pass up.

Unfortunately, Perez has reverted back to being the guy that Rangers' fans had come to expect him to be. He currently sports a near 5 ERA in 122.2 innings of work and he has seen a noticeable dip in his strikeout rate this year. If you take a look at his Statcast profile, very little about how he has pitched this season gives one cause for optimism as his peripherals range from meh to bad. Perez had a good run and it is hard to blame Texas for trying to have him run it back one more time after last season, but they should move from him at this point.

Texas should not keep Jake Odorizzi around

To the surprise of exactly no one, Jake Odorizzi should be among the first guys that Texas decides to move on from after the 2023 season. Odorizzi pretty famously flamed out with the Braves last season and the Rangers acquired Odorizzi last offseason in the hope that he would provide more value than the guy they gave up in Kolby Allard.

Unfortunately, that isn't how things turned out as Odorizzi has not thrown a pitch for the Rangers in 2023 after having a procedure on his pitching shoulder before the season started. When he is right, Odorizzi is a serviceable starting pitcher. However, between his decline in recent years and the trouble with his shoulder, Texas is better served to let him try to catch on elsewhere.

The Rangers can do better than Travis Jankowski

Travis Jankowski has not been a bad player for the Rangers in 2023. In 90 games this season, Jankowski is slashing .272/.362/.345 with five Outs Above Average in the outfield. On a rebuilding team or a team transitioning towards contention. Jankowski is the perfect kind of guy that can serve as a bridge to the future that will be productive enough and not cost an arm and a leg.

The problem, of course, is that the Rangers are neither rebuilding or transitioning. This is a team to built now and left field has stood out as being decidedly not productive offensively in a lineup that is loaded with production. If Jankowski was an absolutely elite defender, it is possible that the Rangers could justify keeping him around. However, elite defenders don't play left field and the Rangers should let Jankowski walk and try to upgrade the position going into 2024.