Earlier this week I participated in our annual SBN Sim Offseason as general manager of the Texas Rangers. As a reminder, each of the thirty teams has someone acting as their general manager (or president of baseball ops, or whatever), and we negotiate with each other on trades and with the Simulation Master on free agent contracts.
I’ve been the Rangers g.m. for however many years we have done this, and this was one of the easier offseasons I’ve had, given that the Rangers already have a lot of good players, have a deep farm system, and don’t have a ton of holes to fill.
Here are the moves I made:
Andrew Heaney and Jose Leclerc exercised
Signed Matt Moore to a 2 year, $18M deal
Signed Adam Duvall to a 1 year, $8M deal
Signed Sandy Leon, Kevin Plawecki, Hanser Alberto, Taylor Hearn, Nomar Mazara, Amir Garrett, Jesse Chavez, and Matt Bush to minor league deals
Traded Davis Wendzel to the Nationals for George Soriano
Traded Ezequiel Duran, Justin Foscue, Jack Leiter, Kumar Rocker and Owen White to the Brewers for Freddy Peralta and Hoby Milner
Traded J.P. Martinez to White Sox for Jordan Sprinkle
My main priorities were to add a controllable starting pitcher and to get a viable short-term DH option who can play the outfield. Yes, Wyatt Langford may be a viable major league regular on Opening Day, but he may not, and I think it would be a bad idea to not add someone I’d be comfortable getting regularly playing time in the DH/OF mix.
The top end of the free agent market was, as has always been the case with these Sims, out of control. Aaron Nola got 7 years, $210 million. Jordan Montgomery got 7 years, $196 million. I shifted gears and decided to look at the trade market. As you can see above, I landed starter Freddy Peralta, under contract for $5.7M in 2024, and with $8M club options for 2025 and 2026, along with reliever Hoby Milner.
You can argue that I overpaid, and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree. However, Peralta is cheap, under team control for the next three seasons, and has put up xERAs between 2.66 and 3.35 each of the last four seasons. Adding Peralta solidifies the rotation while allowing you to move Andrew Heaney to a swingman/long reliever role while Cody Bradford is at AAA as your 7th starter. I also got Milner, who is a decent enough reliever.
To address the DH/OF situation, I explored a number of options. I wanted to bring back Mitch Garver on a short-term deal, but he got 5/$80M. I looked at other options, including Harrison Bader (who ended up getting 4/$80M) and Teoscar Hernandez (who got 3/$50M) before ultimately landing on Adam Duvall on a one year.
Duvall is a righthanded hitter who is a quality defensive COF and can also play CF (and played first base earlier in his career, as well). He gives you someone who you can use as your primary DH while also using to spell the regulars in the outfield, or use to give Evan Carter or Leody Taveras a day off against a lefty starter. Obviously, in a best case scenario, Wyatt Langford is part of the mix at some point in 2024, and if so, Duvall is a bench bat or platoon guy.
I went ahead and brought Matt Moore back because the Rangers need relief help. He was pricier than I would have liked, but given how little Peralta and Duvall cost, it wasn’t really an issue.
I wanted to bring Austin Hedges back but he was snatched up very quickly on a one year deal by the Seattle Mariners before I even really got started. Not likely the rest of the backup catcher market, I decided to sign a couple of veterans to minor league deals in the hope that one of them and/or Sam Huff could handle things.
Wendzel and Martinez were guys that other teams specifically inquired upon, and I was willing to part with in large part for 40 man roster reasons, though in retrospect I probably should have held on to Martinez, since I’ve left myself open in regards to outfield depth in the minors.
I feel like I got an interesting collection of NRI pitchers who I could bring to camp and take a look at as possible bullpen depth.
So there you go. I feel pretty good about the team I ended up with.
You can see all the teams moves here.