This won’t be news to anyone by now, but Shawn Tolleson avoided arbitration with the Rangers by agreeing to a one-year contract at $3.275 million.
Tolleson was seeking $3.9 million. The Rangers originally offered $2.6. In the end, they met halfway, plus another $25,000.
Tolleson was, of course, the anchor of a bullpen that was rebuilt during the season, like constructing an airplane while it’s flying. He saved thirty-five games for the Rangers. And that’s after not beginning the season as the team’s closer.
He took over the closer role in mid-May for Neftali Feliz, whose career never recovered from a failed and, it seems misguided, attempt to turn him into a starter. Feliz was part of a string of relievers whose careers derailed when the Rangers tried to turn them into starters on the cheap, along with Alexi Ogando, Robbie Ross, and Tanner Scheppers.
Earning $519,700 in 2015, Tolleson was truly a bargain. His save rate was 94.6, good for second best in the American League and highest in Texas Rangers history. He earned Rangers Pitcher of the Year honors. All of which is why he earned his 600 percent raise.
It is not known at this time whether Tolleson will be turned into a starter.