I'm sure all of you are still dreaming about the night that the Texas Rangers won the World Series two weeks ago. We will remember that moment for the rest of our lives. While we continue the celebration, we can also get down to business about next season. Free agency has started and teams are starting to get ready for the 2024 season.
One of the main weaknesses that will be addressed is the bullpen. I'm sure you all remember the ups and downs with the bullpen last season. The Rangers really need to get some solid relief pitching if they want to defend their World Series title. Josh Hader is one of the league's best closers right now and is testing the free-agent market this winter. Here is why the Rangers need to go after him this winter.
The reasons for the Texas Rangers to sign Josh Hader
The reason why the Rangers need to sign him is they need a closer that Bruce Bochy can trust to go into the game in the ninth and get three outs. I know Aroldis Chapman won't be back in a Rangers uniform next season. You could tell Bochy couldn't trust him to go out there and get three quick outs as the season went along. Hader finished the 2023 season with a 1.28 ERA and 33 saves. That is the type of pitcher that you want closing out your games if you are a manager.
Now that doesn't mean the Rangers are shipping out Josh Sborz and Jose LeClerc. They will be a pivotal part of the bullpen next season. Both of them stepped up in the postseason and helped the Rangers get their first World Series Title. Who knows what will happen with both pitchers next season?
For all we know, they could go back to being really bad relief pitchers for the Rangers. If that were to happen, it would make Bochy's job a lot harder. Bochy needs someone who can walk out to the mound in the ninth inning and get three outs to end the game. If the Rangers can sign Hader, I know Bochy will be more relaxed with a one-run lead going into the ninth inning next season.
In conclusion, the Rangers will strengthen their bullpen by signing Hader. I know fans would appreciate seeing Hader in a Rangers uniform as well. The Rangers will have other free-agent targets such as starting pitcher Jordan Montogomery that they will also look to resign.
This means that the Rangers will need to decide what is the biggest priority this offseason. Is it signing a reliever or addressing the starting rotation? Whatever the Rangers decide to do this offseason, signing Hader needs to be a top priority along with re-signing Montgomery. It will be interesting to see what next year's Rangers squad will look like as they defend their title in 2024.