MLB Trade Rumors: Tyler Glasnow appears to be on the move, Dylan Cease, Shane Bieber and Corbin Burnes may be available, and Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery and Yoshinobu Yamamoto, among others, are still free agents, so there are lots of options for teams looking for starting pitching. In his latest column, Ken Rosenthal writes that the Texas Rangers are among the teams still active in the starting pitching market, even after signing Tyler Mahle yesterday.
The Rangers headed into the offseason with a five man rotation’s worth of major league starting pitchers already under team control for 2024, a rare thing for the Texas Rangers in the 21st century, as well as Jacob deGrom, who hopefully will be ready to go at some point in the second half of the season. However, the current group, with or without deGrom, isn’t exactly a picture of durability, and Rosenthal says that Chris Young wants to be able to have pitching depth for the coming season — something that was instrumental in the Rangers being able to win the World Series.
(Oh, yeah, the Texas Rangers are the 2023 World Series Champs. Remember that?)
There had been talk about the Rangers possibly embarking once again on their annual offseason flirtation with Dallas native Clayton Kershaw, who has spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The only team Kershaw would reportedly consider pitching for, other than the Dodgers, is his hometown squad, and with Texas having just won a title, they would seem to have more appeal now for Kershaw than they ever had in the past.
Kershaw, though, is recovering from shoulder surgery, and also wouldn’t be back until the second half of the 2024 season, at the earliest. With deGrom and Mahle also being on the shelf until then, one would think Kershaw would no longer be on the Rangers’ wish list, but Rosenthal says that isn’t the case. And one can understand that — Kershaw is a future Hall of Famer who is considered a terrific competitor, someone the team would like their younger pitchers to be around, and he would provide some off-field marketing and p.r. value as well.
It does sound as if things may be in flux in regards to what ownership is willing to do, payroll-wise, until there is more clarity regarding Bally Sports and the bankruptcy situation. Jordan Montgomery, Rosenthal suggests, is someone who the Rangers may not feel comfortable committing to unless there is a positive resolution in that regard. That said, I suspect Montgomery likely won’t sign until late in the offseason, as Scott Boras waits out the resolution of the Yamamoto posting and positions Montgomery to be one of the last pitchers available.