The Texas Rangers have declined their team option on outfielder Kole Calhoun, the team announced today. Calhoun is now officially a free agent.
This was pretty much a given. Calhoun had a 587 OPS in 125 games, putting up a -1.5 bWAR. His team option for 2023 was for $5.5 million, with no buyout.
What is more interesting, to me anyway, is that no announcement has been made in regards to Jose Leclerc. The Rangers have a $6 million team option on Leclerc for 2023, with a $750,000 buyout. My view is that Leclerc, when healthy, is one of the very good relievers in MLB, and well worth $5.25 million.
The announcement being made today that Calhoun’s option has been declined, with no announcement on Leclerc, suggests one of three things: they are gauging interest around the league in Leclerc for a possible trade, they are negotiating potential new terms of a deal with Leclerc (such as adding a 2025 team option or reducing the buyout on the 2024 option), or they are going to exercise the option and just waiting to exercise it until Thursday’s deadline in case he trips on his dog on a staircase or is startled by a bull and falls off a fence.
UPDATE — Per Levi Weaver on Twitter, Chris Young says the Rangers are leaning towards exercising the option on Leclerc.