4 pending free agents the Texas Rangers need to target this offseason

Even with a loaded roster, the Texas Rangers have some work to do this coming offseason.
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Josh Hader

If you are looking for one marquee signing that the Rangers should take a shot on for 2024 and beyond, Josh Hader is the guy. Elite bullpen arms are just so important in today's game and when there is a guy that has posted a 0.82 ERA in 46 appearances this season and is a five time All-Star at the position, the Rangers need to take notice.

It is fair to look at Hader's tough 2022 season with a bit of worry, but Hader's track record the rest of his career should win out in that discussion. The guy misses a ton of bats, has played in a bunch of big games, and would anchor the Rangers' bullpen with Aroldis Chapman and Chris Stratton among others set to hit free agency after the season. Hader would be very expensive for a reliever (he is already making over $14 million in his last year of arbitration in 2023), but this is a bet worth making.

Keynan Middleton

Not every signing needs to be for a household name and the Rangers' bullpen is going to need some new faces in it. Overall, the unit has been one that could really use some love from the front office as they rank just 19th in fWAR in 2023 with a 4.60 ERA. One name to keep an eye on to provide some quality bullpen depth without breaking the bank too badly is the Yankees' Keynan Middleton.

Middleton isn't a widely recognizable name for many as he isn't closing out games, but there is a lot to like with his profile. Nearly all of his peripherals are very good to elite, he strikes guys out, and is a hard guy to square up for opposing hitters. While he wasn't having the best year for the White Sox in 2023, that seems to be largely attributable to that team being a dumpster fire of a situation and Middleton has pitched really well for New York in his seven appearances for them so far. Middleton won't be a bargain buy as a free agent, but he also shouldn't be prohibitively expensive as a non-closer without a lengthy track record of dominance. This is a bullpen arm the Rangers need to circle during the upcoming offseason.

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