With the 2023 MLB Winter Meetings beginning in Nashville, Tennessee on Dec. 3rd, the Texas Rangers haven't made a move in free agency just yet. It's kind of a shocker since the Rangers were huge buyers the past two years prior to the Winter Meetings. The early urgency of the past two years is the reason why the Rangers won the World Series this season.
Rangers fans are starting to get a little worried since free agent pitcher Jordan Montgomery remains unsigned. They are also worried since the Rangers are still lacking a solid closer who can come into the game and shut things down in the ninth inning. That's where free agent pitcher Josh Hader comes into play. Hader is one of the best closing pitchers in the game right now and the Rangers would be crazy not to go after him.
According to Sports Illustrated, Hader is the top free agent option that the Rangers should be after right now. He finished the 2023 season with 85 strikeouts and a 1.28 ERA. This isn't the first time I've brought up the Rangers needing to go after him. In my previous article I wrote about Hader, I mentioned that Bruce Bochy needs a closer that he can count on to go in and get three outs to end the game.
Bochy had to cycle through different relief pitchers throughout the season because none of them could be trusted as a closer. The Rangers traded for Aroldis Chapman midway through the season to get a solid closer. However, Chapman was shaky late in the season and into the playoffs. I doubt the Rangers want to go through that again in 2024. Hader could be the guy Bochy is looking for to put the fear of blowing saves in the past.
Ultimately, the Rangers need to make a deal for Hader during the Winter Meetings before other teams get deeply involved. There is a way where the Rangers can sign Hader and Montgomery, but GM Chirs Young needs to figure that way out fast before both pitchers sign with other teams. The Rangers have the foundation in place to possibly repeat in 2024. They just need to improve their bullpen to have a legit shot at that goal.