MLB Rumors: The Texas Rangers are considering free agent relievers Adam Ottavino and Zach Britton, according to Jon Heyman on Twitter. Heyman describes them as a “semi surprise entry” in that market, which I would agree with, given the Rangers are in rebuilding mode, and given that the Rangers have generally not spent big on relief pitchers.
Ottavino, a 33 year old righthander who was originally a first round pick of the Cardinals in 2006, established himself as a dominant reliever with the Rockies last season, putting up a 2.43 ERA and a 2.74 FIP in 77.2 innings, striking out 112 batters due in large part to a slider which is one of the best pitches in baseball. Jon Heyman’s predictions have Ottavino getting three years at $10-14 million per year, which would not be what you’d be expecting the Rangers to spend on a reliever. However, other than the 2017, Ottavino has been really good in a relief role when healthy...if you’re going to splurge, he’s the type of guy you’d want to spend on.
Britton, 31, is a graduate of Weatherford High School who was a dominant force out of the Baltimore Orioles’ pen for a number of years before an Achilles injury cost him much of 2017 and 2018. Baltimore ended up trading him to the New York Yankees last year in a deal that brought former Rangers first rounder Dillon Tate to Baltimore. The lefthander has the cachet of being a closer, but I think there are concerns about how the injury has impacted him. Heyman’s predictions had him at 4 years, $14-15 million, which is well beyond what I would think the Rangers would want to spend on Britton.