As the Texas Rangers gear up for Spring Training in Surprise this February, the buzz is about their strategic moves. With a mix of Major League and minor league signings and key trades, the Rangers are set to bring a significantly larger squad to training than they'll eventually retain.
Some of these moves are poised to stand out, potentially reshaping the team's immediate future. ESPN's recent analysis of each MLB team suggests that the Rangers could elevate their game in 2024 by making two impactful moves.
Fresh off their World Series triumph, the Rangers, according to ESPN, should focus on bolstering their pitching squad.
Rangers' Big Signings
The proposed moves that have Rangers fans buzzing include signing left-handed starter Jordan Montgomery to a lucrative five-year, $106 million contract and bringing All-Star closer Josh Hader on board with a five-year deal worth $105 million.
Montgomery's performance in 2023 significantly boosted his free-agency prospects. His stats speak volumes while he's shown a preference for teams he's previously played with, including the Rangers. Last season, Montgomery achieved a 10-11 record with a 3.20 ERA, striking out 166 and walking 48.
His stint with the Rangers was marked by a 4-2 record and a 2.79 ERA. His postseason brilliance, especially in the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros, has almost attained legendary status among Rangers fans.
On the other hand, Josh Hader stands as the top free-agent closer. A potential acquisition by the Rangers means securing one of baseball's most consistent ninth-inning arms. Hader, who won't turn 30 until next April, rose to prominence in 2018 with an impressive 6-1 record, a 2.43 ERA, and 12 saves, earning his first All-Star selection.
Since then, his trajectory has soared, with four additional All-Star appearances and a remarkable record of 20-21, a 2.50 ERA, and 165 saves. The industry consensus leans towards Hader joining the Rangers, representing an investment of over $200 million.
This sum reflects not just monetary value, but a strategic move to fortify the Rangers' rotation and bring unwavering reliability to their ninth-inning plays. These signings, if realized, could be game-changers for the Rangers, setting them up for another dominant season in 2024.