The Rangers missed the playoffs for the third straight year in 2019, but with a new ballpark set to open next season, it appears they’re serious about returning to contention immediately. The Rangers gave right-handed starter Kyle Gibson a three-year, $30MM guarantee last week, though that deal could pale in comparison to the highest award they dole out this winter. The club’s in pursuit of the best free-agent position player on the market in third baseman Anthony Rendon, as it met with him and agent Scott Boras in Houston on Sunday, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. The Rangers haven’t made a contract offer yet, per Grant, but “several executives” have indicated they’re the favorites to sign him, Bob Nightengale of USA Today sports tweets.
Signing Rendon would likely mean doling out a guarantee well above $200MM, though it could help the Rangers’ cause that he’s a Texas native. Rendon’s by far the best unsigned third baseman in the game, but between their interest in him and Josh Donaldson, it’s clear the Rangers are serious about finding their first great option at the position since potential Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre retired after the 2018 season.
Texas, however, isn’t just considering a splash at the hot corner. Rather, the Rangers could pick up yet another high-profile starter even after signing Gibson. It’s “believed” that they’ve recently met with free-agent right-hander Zack Wheeler, according to Grant. Wheeler, who could cost around $100MM in free agency, would add another formidable arm to a rotation that has taken an obvious step forward with the acquisition of Gibson. Those two would presumably join Mike Minor, Lance Lynn and Kolby Allard to give the Rangers a rather imposing top five heading into 2020.