MLB Trade Rumors has their MLB free agent predictions for 2018, with the Texas Rangers landing, in the MLB Trade Rumors projections, several interesting players.
MLBTR has the Rangers ending up with free agent starting pitcher Lance Lynn at 4 years, $56 million. Lynn, a 30 year old who put up a 3.43 ERA and a 4.82 FIP in 186 IP this year after missing all of 2016 with Tommy John surgery, and had a 3.25 ERA and 3.35 FIP in 97 starts from 2013-15 pre-surgery.
Lynn, who has spent his entire career with the Cardinals, is the third or fourth best MLB free agent starting pitcher on the market this offseason, depending on what you think about Alex Cobb, and I have to think that he’s looking at something more like 5/$80M rather than 4/$56M. I’d be thrilled if the Rangers got Lynn for $56 million after four years, though the peripherals declining across the board in 2017 from his 2013-15 seasons is a worrisome sign.
The other two signings that are slotted to Texas are Steve Cishek, former Mariners, Rays and Cardinals reliever, who they have going to Texas at 2/$14M, and Jon Jay, the Cubs’ center fielder, who they also put at 2/$14M. Personally, I don’t think the Rangers are going to spend that sort of money on someone like Cishek, and I’d rather see the Rangers nab Jarrod Dyson (who is projected at 2/$12M in this scenario) than Jay.
This should, of course, be taken with a grain of salt, though I’ll be interested to see how these projections compare to the ones that Jon Heyman does. This would leave the Rangers with two holes remaining in the rotation (though the acquisition of Jay, or Dyson, could allow the Rangers to move one of their bats for starting pitching help), and the projections for the second-tier pitchers, in particular, seem on the low side. I suspect Andrew Cashner at 2/$20M, Tyler Chatwood at 3/$20M, Miles Mikolas at 2/$10M, or Alex Cobb at 4/$48M would be deals the Rangers would be all over.
As for other 2017 Rangers, they see Carlos Gomez replacing Lorenzo Cain in Kansas City on a two year deal, Yu Darvish going to the North Side of Chicago at 6/$160M, and Jonathan Lucroy staying in Colorado on a two year deal.
Of the players and contracts MLBTR has on their top 50 list, which one would you most like the Rangers to snag this offseason?