Rangers get the off-season started.

Texas acquires 32-year-old righty Jake Odorizzi.

The Rangers made the first trade of the off-season, and it was a headscratcher. But, for once, in a good way for the Rangers.

Texas sent pitcher Kolby Allard to the Braves for pitcher Jake Odorizzi.

Allard was the Braves number one pick in the 2015 draft. He pitched one uneventful season in Atlanta before being traded to the Rangers at the 2019 deadline for reliever Chris Martin.

Allard showed promise those last few months of 2019, going 4-2 in nine starts. It was enough to earn him a spot in the Rangers paper thin rotation for 2020. But he eventually pitched himself out of it, which, considering how bad the Rangers rotation has been the past three seasons, really says a lot. 

Exclusively out of the bullpen by 2022, Allard posted a 7.29 ERA this season, bouncing from the Rangers to the minor leagues. It was doubtful he was going to included in the 40-man roster.

While the right-handed Odorizzi didn’t set the world on fire in 2022, he is a major league veteran with a ton of experience who is a huge upgrade over Allard. Especially since, as part of the deal, the Braves are sending ten million dollars in cash. 

It seems, Odorizzi had a player option for 2023, which he exercised, which would pay him $12.5 million. That triggered the Braves to want to move him, not wanting to pay Odorizzi that much. But the headscratcher here is, they are paying most of it.

Since Odorizzi will earn $12.5 million in 2023, the Rangers are essentially getting him for $2.5 million. In today’s baseball economy, that’s a bargain for an eleven-year veteran starter with a career 3.99 ERA. 

The other headscratcher here is why the Braves would send Odorizzi and ten million dollars for a fringe-at-best pitcher like Allard. It’s almost as if Jon Daniels is making deals for Atlanta now.

Did the Rangers get better with this deal? Absolutely. Now, with Odorizzi and Jon Gray, their bottom two slots in the 2023 rotation are set.

Now, it’s time to get their one, two, and three starters.

But, this is a start.