The 12-21 Rangers shipped off a few pieces today, but they didn’t find an offer to their liking on Lance Lynn or Joey Gallo. Given comments made by general manager Jon Daniels, though, it seems probable they’ll revisit talks on those players this offseason.
“We were open to the idea of acquiring younger players that fit more long-term,” said Daniels, who admitted that 2022 and beyond is “probably the more likely window for us” (via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). Adding to the challenge of competing in 2021, it seems, are forthcoming payroll cuts.
“I’m not certain what the overall budget will be. It will be down from where it was this year, but I’m not sure exactly where,” Daniels said, per Wilson. As the GM pointed out, that’ll likely be true of a lot of teams in the wake of massive revenue losses arising out of the pandemic. Patching all the team’s holes this offseason while navigating budget cuts may be an impossible task.
Lynn is due $8MM in 2021, his final year of team control. Gallo, who’ll command an arbitration raise on this year’s $4.4MM salary, is controlled through 2022. Texas obviously wasn’t willing to give either player away for underwhelming returns merely to cut costs. Still, Daniels’ acknowledgement the team doesn’t seem to be a piece or two away from contention figures to lead to future speculation on those shorter-term assets.
Elsewhere on the roster, Shin-Soo Choo’s $21MM contract comes off the books at the end of the year, and they seem likely to decline Corey Kluber’s $18MM option. Texas’ other high-priced players, though, figure to be difficult to move. Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor haven’t performed well recently and are ticketed for lofty salaries ($14.25MM and $12.33MM, respectively). Likewise, Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles have underwhelmed in their first seasons in Arlington.
The Rangers entered this season with an anticipated payroll of around $153MM, per Cot’s Contracts. They have only $63MM on the books for 2021 before arbitration, although beyond Gallo and José Leclerc, there don’t figure to be huge raises. That leaves room for some additions, but not to Texas’ established levels of spending.