Number 3: Emmanuel Clase
Fans would be forgiven if they forgot that 2022 All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase was once a Ranger. He came up after the trade deadline in 2019 and pitched the rest of the season for Texas. He was set up to be the future closer for Texas. He was one of the reasons why the team felt comfortable trading Pete Fairbanks back in July 2019.
The Rangers went into the 2019-2020 offseason with two players they wanted to acquire. Daniels had said they would not be afraid to spend money that offseason. They targeted third baseman Anthony Rendon and pitcher Zach Wheeler. The goal was to compete in 2020 as they moved into their new stadium. Unfortunately, they ended up with neither. Rendon signed with the Angels and Wheeler signed with the Phillies.
It was a disappointing week that bred desperation for the Rangers. The Sunday after the Winter Meetings they agreed to a trade with the Cleveland Guardians. Cleveland sent Corey Kluber to Texas for Delino Deshields Jr and Emmanuel Clase. The Rangers thought they had traded for their ace to join up with Mike Minor and Lance Lynn.
Kluber who missed most of the 2019 season would also only pitch one inning with Texas and miss almost all of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season with a tear of his right teres muscle in his shoulder. Even if he had pitched his best days are behind him.
Clase has went to Cleveland and is now the best American League closer. He had 42 saves in 2022 with a 1.36 ERA, and 77 strikeouts with 10 walks. He is the definition of a shutdown closer that has electric stuff. Oh and the Rangers head into 2023 without a hard-throwing reliever or a defined closer.