Rangers strengthen 2023 rotation with Eovaldi
The Texas Rangers have strengthened their starting rotation with the addition of RHP Nathan Eovaldi. Many assumed that with the signing of LHP Andrew Heaney, Chris Young was done addressing the Rangers starting rotation.
However, be proved that wasn’t the case and the Rangers announced the signing of Eovaldi to a two-year deal worth $34MM. It includes bonuses of $3M if he pitches at least 160 innings. If he pitches 300 innings from 2023 to 2024, he will receive a third-year vesting/player option in 2025 worth $20 million.
By bringing in Eovaldi the Rangers rotation might be the best 1-5 they have ever had on paper, and it provides starting pitching depth that is desperately needed, as the team looks to make a push in 2023 and beyond. As of this article, Fangraphs has the Rangers rotation projected as the second-best in baseball by WAR at 15.6, behind the New York Yankees at 16.7. The Rangers will likely drop to third once Fangraphs adds Senga to the Mets.
Not sure that I am personally ready to say the Rangers have the 3rd best rotation in baseball. Projections are just that, projections and they consider numerous things such as innings pitched over the last few years and considers the players ages among other things.
Let’s take a look at the Rangers’ potential starting rotation heading into 2023 along with some of their 2022 numbers.
- Jacob deGrom (5-4 W-L, 11 starts, 64.1 IP, 3.08 ERA, 8 BB, 102 SO, 1.4 bWAR)
- Martín Pérez (12-8 W-L, 32 starts, 196.1 IP, 2.89 ERA, 69 BB, 169 SO, 5.0 bWAR)
- Jon Gray (7-7 W-L, 24 starts, 127.1 IP, 3.96 ERA, 39 BB, 134 SO, 1.4 bWAR)
- Andrew Heaney (4-4 W-L, 14 starts (16G), 72.2 IP, 3.10 ERA, 19 BB, 110 SO, 0.7 bWAR)
- Nathan Eovaldi (6-3 W-L, 20 starts, 109.1 IP, 3.87 ERA, 20 BB, 103 SO, 1.5 bWAR)
It will be some mixture of this will deGrom as the clear number one. I have seen multiple versions of the rotation and how they would order them, but I broke up the lefties in Pérez and Heaney. Odorizzi is likely pushed to a long- relief role.
Health is going to be the key for this rotation, just as it is every year. If we can avoid a long IL stint by any of the starting staff, the Rangers will be in good shape. But as you can see, Martín Pérez is the only one who made 32 starts, with Jon Gray being next on the list with 24 starts. That isn’t really encouraging but each player has passed their physical and the Rangers are confident, they can get their starts in. Also, none of their health issues last year were serious.
One thing is for sure, there should be less free passes issued and there should be more strikeouts. deGrom and Heaney both ranked in the top 3 with the highest chase rate induced in 2022. Jacob deGrom was 2nd with 37.5 % and Andrew Heaney was 3rd with 36.9 %.
Good things are coming for our 2023 Texas Rangers. Until next time, keep swinging for the fences.