How the Texas Rangers should handle Mitch Garver's free agency?
I do no think that Texas should give him the QO. He would most definitely accept a guaranteed $20 million contract for next season. I do not know if it can be said that the QO has worked out for Texas with Martin Perez. He pitched himself out of the rotation by August and is now getting paid more than any other starter except for Jacob deGrom to pitch out of the bullpen. Imagine if Texas had 19 million to spend on the bullpen last offseason how good this team would be.
Texas is going to be entering a very important offseason regardless of what happens over the next 10 days. 2024 is when fans are truly going to be expecting big things. The expectation is going to be winning the division and then making a deep run into October. If they want to do that they have to address the bullpen in a significant way. They have to really go out this offseason and try to sign some of the best bullpen arms on the market. They have to do that with a potentially smaller amount of money to spend on free agents.
The question becomes is it smart to invest $20 million into a player that will be your backup catcher? I do not think it is. I am completely fine with giving Sam Huff a shot at the job. They drafted Huff in 2016 out of high school and have had held onto him since then. He will enter 2024 completely out of options. They either need to trade him while his value is really low or play him in 2024. I think it is time to see if Huff can produce over a 162 game schedule. I believe if given a regular shot to play Huff will produce at a good enough level to help this team. Plus, he will not cost $20 million.
I think the $20 million can be better spent on bullpen arms or starting pitchers. One other thing to remember when the Rangers got off to their 40-20 start that was almost entirely without Mitch Garver. He was out for much of that run. Texas will likely have on-base machine Evan Carter up to start the season and rising superstar prospect Wyatt Langford could be an option if not Opening Day then definitely by Memorial Day.
The offense is not going to be short on talent. The team needs more pitching. I firmly believe that spending $20 million on Mitch Garver will hinder the Rangers' off-season pursuit of arms for the bullpen. The goal is to win big in 2024 and while Garver the player would help that, I think in the end his contract would hamstring the team for the entire offseason.