Martín Pérez is the Texas Rangers’ highest-paid pitcher of the 2023 season. Don’t expect that to be the case at spring training.
If Rangers have their way, at least one pitcher will be paid more next season than Pérez, who deserves the $19.65 million qualifying offer he agreed to on Tuesday.
Pérez’s decision gave the Rangers additional clarity about their starting rotation as they prepare to court free agents and potential trade offers.
If the season started today, Rangers could rely on three experienced starters – Pérez, Jon Gray and Jake Odorizzi. Together, the trio will earn $37.15 million next season. Gray will collect $15 million, while Odorizzi will only cost the Rangers $2.5 million as Atlanta collects the remainder of his $12.5 million 2023 salary.
It also means Rangers only have seven veterans signed for 2023. Shortstop Corey Seager ($35 million), second baseman Marcus Semien ($26 million), pitcher Jose Leclerc ($6 million) and infielder Brad Miller ($4 million) are the others.
According to Spotrac.com, the Rangers have currently committed $104 million in payrolls.
The Rangers also reduced their arbitration bill by trading pitcher Dennis Santana to Atlanta on Tuesday. Rangers could reduce it further if they were able to trade any of their other arbitration-eligible players — catcher/designated hitter Mitch Garver, first baseman Nathaniel Lowe and pitchers Taylor Hearn, Brett Martin and Jonathan Hernandez .
Even if the Rangers retained all five, MLBTradeRumors.com estimates that the five players would receive a total of $12.7 million through arbitration, bringing the Rangers’ estimated 12-player payroll to $116.7 million .
That’s why Rangers general manager Chris Young said The Dallas Morning News on Tuesday that Rangers’ plan to aim for first-class starting spots has not been affected by the money promised to its three veteran starters.
Rangers still have a lot of money to play with.
Rangers have made it clear they are looking for two front-line starters. When it comes to frontline starters, the Rangers have reportedly contacted the agents for three pitchers – Jacob deGrom, Carlos Rodón and Kodai Senga.
deGrom and Rodón will be costly if the The New York Post Estimates are not guides. That post consulted an MLB salary expert when it compiled its top 30 free agent list. As an indicator of accuracy, the Post’s pundit estimated that Mets would land closer Edwin Diaz on a five-year deal worth $105 million. Diaz eventually signed a five-year, $102 million deal.
That post It was estimated that deGrom would be given a three-year deal worth $125 million, and Rodón would be given a five-year deal worth $150 million.
Do the math and that’s a combined annual average of $71.6 million.
Senga, which opens in Japan, could bring in $ 65 million in five years. If Rangers snap up deGrom and Senga, it could cost $54 million a year. A Rodón-Senga combo could cost $44 million.
There are other options too. Mets starter Chris Bassitt has already turned down his qualifying offer from the Mets. That post It is estimated that he could earn $66 million over three years, which equates to a share of $22 million per year.
There are many opportunities. The Rangers still have a lot of money. Now they must convince at least one free-agent pitcher to join a team they believe can compete in 2023.
The good news? Rangers are certain of what three-fifths of their rotation will look like next season.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard
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