Coming into this offseason, the Rangers are in a position they’re rarely in. They’re a really good team with very few needs.
It used to be their roster was like a municipal golf course. Full of holes and overrun with amateurs.
This season, in the offensive side, what they really need is a DH. Mitch Garver is a free agent, and a catcher with his offensive skills will be in high demand. The Rangers had the luxury of having an All-Star, Gold Glove catcher in Jonah Heim, and then a better hitter than him in Garver.
The only position where they had a player with an OPS+ less than 100, meaning less than league average, was in center.
This year’s Rangers proved the adage, “You can never have enough pitching.” Their rotation had Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray, Andrew Heaney, Martin Perez, Dane Dunning, Jordan Montgomery, Max Scherzer, and Cody Bradford. That’s nine starters. Yet, by the postseason, they seemed to be scrambling more than two able-bodied arms.
DeGrom isn’t coming back. Eovaldi was brilliant. Gray was unreliable as a starter, brilliant out of the pen in the World Series. Perez was a bust. Heaney lost his rotation spot, along with Perez. Dunning was a savior but ignored in the World Series. Montgomery is a free agent. Scherzer is old. Cody Bradford is too inexperienced.
That leaves a rotation, right now, of Eovaldi, Scherzer, Gray, Heaney, Dunning, and Bradford. The Rangers need another top of the rotation arm, like bringing back Montgomery.
The Rangers bullpen is a mess. It magically figured it out in the postseason, where Leclerc and Sborz were brilliant. But a two-man bullpen isn’t going to cut it. After blowing thirty-three saves and converting only twenty-four, the Rangers bullpen needs a major overhaul. Start with a bonafide closer.
A DH, an rotation arm, a closer, bullpen depth. That’s Chris Young’s offseason checklist. The Rangers have the money, but more importantly, they have so much depth in the minor leagues that can be used as currency to get the players they need. It doesn’t have to all be free agent spending. Not at all.
Having said that, here is the list of available free agents Designated Hitters. Pitcher and relievers to follow.
Shohei Ohtani (29 years old, 18.4 WAR)
JD Martinez(36, 3.1)
Jorge Soler (32, 2.4)
Andrew McCutchen (37, 1.5)
Jesse Winker (30, -0.4)
Darin Ruf (37, -0.8)
Tommy La Stella (35, -1.0)
Brad Miller (34, -1.3)