The Los Angeles Dodgers have announced that they have re-signed free agent lefthander Rich Hill to a three year deal, while the San Francisco Giants have reportedly agreed to a four year deal with free agent closer Mark Melancon for
somewhere in the neighborhood of $60-64 $62 million.
Hill was someone that the Rangers were speculated to have some potential interest in, but there was never any indication that they were serious about pursuing him at the price he was expected to command. No official word on the dollar figures for Hill, but it is reportedly for $48 million.
Melancon’s signing, meanwhile, is something that could impact the Rangers. Texas was never in on Melancon, but he is one of three top closers (along with Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman) on the free agent market. With numerous teams looking for relief help — especially a “proven closer” — the prices, and removal of Melancon from the market, could have teams talking trade with the Rangers. Texas has a lot of solid relief options, including two pitchers with closing experience — Sam Dyson and Jeremy Jeffress. Dealing someone from that surplus could help the Rangers fill their need in the rotation or the outfield.
Last year, if you recall, there was a lot of talk about the Rangers trading a reliever, with Shawn Tolleson and Tom Wilhelmsen in particular supposedly in play. Neither pitcher is with the Rangers now, and you can either look at that as a cautionary tale as to why it makes sense to deal relievers while their value is high, or as a warning not to deal your relievers because you’re probably going to need your surplus during the season.