The Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes will define this off-season, no question about it. The Rangers are said to be one of the favorites to land him according to Jon Heyman. There are some other big-money teams in contention. In the event the Rangers lose out or decide to go in a different direction, there are plenty of options to help them solidify their roster for a 2024 title defense.
#1 Address the starting rotation through free agency
The first thing the Rangers can do to help their chances for a title defense is make sure they bring back a few guys who were already on this World Series team. That starts with Jordan Montgomery. His market value currently sits at a six year, 110 million dollar deal to sign the big lefty. In all likelihood, there will be teams out there willing to pay him north of 20 million per year and maybe even north of 25 million per year. He will be hard to bring back, and expensive as well. But, what he provided to the Rangers this season after acquiring him at the deadline will make just about any amount you can get him to sign for, worth it. He emerged as a playoff ace and the Rangers will need that in their rotation especially with Jacob deGrom out until late in the season.
While bringing Montgomery back is the most ideal situation for the Rangers, there is a world where that doesn't happen. If the Rangers don't re-sign Montgomery, they should lock their sights on Blake Snell. Snell is another big lefty with a propensity for the big game who is coming off a stellar season with a 2.25 ERA. Many teams will be after Snell and he won't be any cheaper than bringing back Montogomery, but getting one of these two guys on the roster for next season should be a high priority. There are also some slightly cheaper, quality options out there in an Eduardo Rodriguez or Marcus Stroman in the event the Rangers are unable to get Montgomery back or sign Blake Snell. Both of those guys also had sub four ERA's for the season.