4 Free Agents Texas Rangers Should Sign

4 Rangers Free Agents

The MLB free agency and winter meetings are two of the most exciting times of the year. The Texas Rangers are the latest World Series champion to be built in free agency. This year’s offseason matters to the Rangers, especially if they want to repeat as World Series champions in 2024.

Here are four free agents the Texas Rangers should sign right now.

4. Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is one of the youngest free agents on the market. Yamamoto, a Bizen, Okayama, Japan native, plays for the Orix Buffaloes of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He made his NPB debut in 2017 and became a three-time Pacific League MVP, Eiji Sawamura Award, and Japanese Triple Crown winner — all from 2021-23.

Yamamoto is a 25-year-old right-handed pitcher with a 70-29 record, and at a three-quarters delivery, a fastball averaging 95 MPH that tops out at 99 MPH.

I don’t know if the Texas Rangers will sign him to a seven-year contract worth $175 million$196 million, or $212 million, but I’d want them to sign him for a reasonable amount. He’s a talented Japanese right-hander, and the team could use another starter on the mound.

3. Shōta Imanaga

Shōta Imanaga is a 30-year-old left-handed pitcher from Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, Japan. Imanaga has been playing for the NPB’s Yokohama DeNA BayStars since 2016. The Yokohama DeNA BayStars selected Imanaga in the first round of the 2015 NPB Draft out of Komazawa University.

After becoming a first-round selection, Imanaga signed with the Canberra Cavalry of the Australian Baseball League (ABL) to play Weeks Two to Seven of the 2018 ABL season. In his six starts with the Cavalry, he posted a 4-0 record with a league-best 0.51 ERA over 35 innings with 57 strikeouts and one walk. He broke the league’s records for WHIP (0.429), H/9 (3.6), BB/9 (0.3), and second-best ERA, trailing Ryan Searle. Following his ABL stint, he returned to Japan to play in the 2019 NPB season, where he posted a 13-7 record with a 2.91 ERA and finished second in wins and strikeouts, trailing Shun Yamaguchi.

Fast forward to 2022, when Imanaga pitched a no-hitter against the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, and in 2023, the BayStars posted him to MLB. His nickname is The Throwing Philosopher, and rightfully so. He’s one of the most talented names in baseball. His pitching skills are second to none. He became the first left-hander to average 93.5 MPH with 20+ inches of Induced Vertical Break (IVB) in the Hawkeye era.

The Texas Rangers reportedly want their starting pitching fortified, and Imanaga would be a good choice. MLB Trade Rumors has projected he could get a five-year, $85 million contract, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he did because he’s consistent and clutch.

2. Jordan Montgomery

The Texas Rangers may or may not re-sign Jordan Montgomery, but there’s a chance until he signs somewhere else. Montgomery is a 30-year-old free-agent, left-handed pitcher in MLB. He most recently played for the Rangers (2023) and previously played for the St. Louis Cardinals (2022-2023) and New York Yankees (2017-2022). He played college baseball at the University of South Carolina.

Montgomery is a 2023 World Series champion with the Rangers. There has been speculation about the Rangers’ possible re-signing of the Sumter, South Carolina native as there’s uncertainty over their local TV broadcast deal with Bally Sports and the fact they may not be one of the biggest spenders in MLB this offseason. The Rangers may find themselves priced out of the Montgomery sweepstakes. 

The Rangers should sign Montgomery. Montgomery’s 2023 postseason was one to remember, especially his pitching in the ALCS against the Houston Astros. He may sign a lower-priced contract that won’t break the bank because he’s one of the best left-handers in the free-agent market.

1. Josh Hader

The Texas Rangers are reportedly eyeing free agency to build on this year’s World Series win and build an MLB dynasty. Josh Hader is a free-agent, left-handed pitcher who can check all the boxes. Hader is one of MLB’s best closers right now. The Millersville, Maryland native is a five-time MLB All-Star (2018, 2019, 2021-2023), a three-time NL Reliever of the Year (2018, 2019, 2021), and an NL saves leader (2020).

The Rangers need bullpen help and a closer who can get in the ballgame in the ninth inning and get three outs. Hader can be that closer, which helps Rangers head coach Bruce Bochy relax, even if the Rangers have a one-run lead going into the ninth, and makes Bochy’s head coaching job easier.

The Rangers have yet to have a true closer in recent years. If Texas signs Hader, he would be a true closer for the team. He might even lock down the largest closer contract in franchise history.

Ana Kieu

Ana Kieu is a journalist by trade. Her love for sports shows in her writing, editing, and podcasting work. She writes about MLB for Inside The Diamonds.

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