The Texas Rangers need to start pitching. That is clear. But the front offense has also made it clear that there is interest in a medium order bat.
The new universal designated hitter is preparing the Rangers to make a try for a free-agent hitter who could fit into their batting order as a full-time DH without having to sit that player when they travel to National League parks .
Additionally, the Rangers can do so without disrupting the power structure of their current batting order. Four Rangers had at least 25 homers a season ago – shortstop Corey Seager, second baseman Marcus Semien, outfielder Adolis García and first baseman Nathaniel Lowe.
All four are under contract. Seager ($35 million) and Semien ($26 million) are two of three Rangers players who will make $10 million or more next season. Lowe is eligible for arbitration for the first time while García remains under team control.
Based on Spotrac.com estimates of 2023 salaries for the dozen players who are either under contract or headed for arbitration (with arbitration estimates from MLBTradeRumors.com), the Rangers appear to have 12 players under control for 2023, which will then be just under would lie 100 million dollars. That doesn’t include pitcher Martín Pérez, who will reportedly accept Rangers’ year-long qualifying offer of $19.65 million through Tuesday.
The rest of the roster is under team control and would meet the league minimum, which will be $720,000 for 2023.
The Rangers are expected to go all-in for pitching with free agents and have reportedly been in touch with pitchers Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodón and Kodai Senga’s agents.
But that doesn’t mean they will ignore finding another bat. There are also some interesting options.
Of course, New York Yankees hitter Aaron Judge is the #1 free agent out there. But the The New York Post The salary expert believes Judge could land a nine-year deal worth $330 million. That would likely short-circuit the Rangers’ goal of two front-line starters.
What the Rangers are looking for is a professional hitter who doesn’t mind being the DH regularly and who could spell out a player like Lowe at first base.
Jose Abreu certainly fits into that mold. Abreu is a former MVP who played his entire career with the Chicago White Sox. He’s coming off a 2022 where he batted .304 with 15 homers and 75 RBI. That New York Post It is estimated that he could make $25 million a year as a free agent.
Anthony Rizzo has called off his deal with the Yankees. That post It’s been estimated that Rizzo could bring in $20 million a year. He only hit a .224 in 2022, but he hit 32 homers and drove 75.
Two other interesting options have local bindings. Former Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar is back on the market after hitting .244 with 15 homers and 58 RBI. DHs don’t always have to hit home runs. But Profar has reached 20 twice, including in 2018 with Texas. That post It is estimated that he could get $12 million a year.
Then there’s Josh Bell, a first baseman who grew up in Irving and drove back and forth between Washington and San Diego last season. The 29-year-old hit .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBI this season. That post Estimates suggest he could land a three-year, $51 million deal, which works out to about $17 million a year.
How exactly did she post was previously in his estimates? That post consulted an MLB salary expert when it compiled its top 30 free agent list. The indicator for the accuracy is the Post Experts estimated that Mets would land closer Edwin Diaz on a five-year deal worth $105 million. Diaz eventually signed for five years and $102 million.
The Rangers want pitching, but they also want a bat. There are options out there if they can get the math to work.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard
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