Needless to say this off-season is incredibly important for the Rangers. They are wanting to become competitive again in an AL West Division that is getting tougher.
The Rangers have to compete with the World Series Champions, the Houston Astros, who have an excellent rotation even if they do end up losing Justin Verlander.
Seattle is improving and isn’t going anywhere for a while. Young Slugger Julio Rodriguez won the Rookie of the Year award. He hit .284 with 28 home runs and had 6.0 bWAR. They had a 90-72 record and made the post-season.
The Angels have two of the best players in baseball in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. They just signed left-hander Tyler Anderson who won 15 games this season. They just added extra power to their lineup by acquiring Hunter Renfroe from the Brewers.
Dont forget about the pesky Oakland Athletics who always seem to cause problems although they won’t be competing for the Division anytime soon.
By now everyone knows the Rangers dropped nearly $500mil last winter when they signed Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jon Gray.
The first step to improving was hiring a proven manager in Bruce Bochy. The next step is to sign multiple starting pitchers. Pitchers that can give us 180+ innings and give us a chance to win games. I believe the pitchers listed below can do both.
I attempt to fill Chris Young’s shoes to address the Rangers rotation.
Here is what I do if I’m the Rangers GM to finish the Texas Rangers rotation
That’s $45 million a year which is probably slightly more than another team may offer.
Some of Verlander’s appeal to me is that he does not have a qualifying offer attached, meaning the Rangers don’t give up a draft pick for signing him. He came back from Tommy John and won a World Series and was the American League Cy Young winner. He can get the Rangers double-digits in wins.
Verlander’s age (40) next season and beyond doesn’t worry me as much as the injury concerns with deGrom and even Rodón. Father time catches up with everyone eventually but Verlander hasn’t shown many signs of slowing down. Think Nolan Ryan as far as longevity goes.
I could pivot to each of them in the order of Verlander/Senga/deGrom/Rodón. deGrom has the slight edge over Rodón for me just because no one is better when he’s healthy.
Again this may be slightly higher than what anyone else would offer but there is no posting fee. He throws a fastball that has hit up to 102 mph.
This contract would take him into his age 34 season. The Rangers have to be willing to speak with the dollars to entice a free agent or two. In this rotation, he would slot in as the number two starter.
After missing all of 2021 due to Tommy John, he made 23 starts with a 7-7 win-loss record and a 4.33 earned run average. He is another that I feel can give double digit wins and should be able to throw 170 innings next season.
** Just this part was edited November 27, 2022.**Mike Clevinger is signing a one-year deal with the White Sox so I would turn to Jameson Taillon.
These moves add $71 million to the payroll.
Rotation to begin the 2023 season. A solid rotation if you ask me.
- Justin Verlander
- Kodai Senga
- Jon Gray
- Martín Pérez
- Mike Clevinger
Yes, every pitcher in the rotation would be at least 30 year old at the start of the season but they each have the potential for at least 180 innings each and a chance at double digit wins.
Jameson Taillon could be another option
Taillon made 32 starts last season for the Yankees and finished with a 14-5 win-loss record with a 3.91 earned run average. If one of the above don’t sign, I wouldn’t hesitate to sign Taillon.
We’d have Dane Dunning, AJ Alexy, Cole Ragans and Glenn Otto waiting in Round Rock in case of an injury. Odorizzi could come out of the pen and make a spot start or two if needed.
Remember, there is always the trade route as well. But I do not trade away the farm if we’re not able to sign one of Verlander/Rodón/deGrom.
So tell me…am I fired?