The Rangers announced an agreement with veteran outfielder Kole Calhoun on Tuesday. It’s reportedly a one-year, $5.2MM guarantee that comes with a $5.5MM club option for 2023. The option doesn’t contain a buyout. Calhoun is represented by PSI Sports Management.
Calhoun hit the open market after the Diamondbacks declined their $9MM club option following the season, instead paying him a $2MM buyout. Calhoun originally signed a two-year, $16MM deal with Arizona in the 2019-20 offseason and hit a strong .226/.338/.526 with 16 home runs over 228 plate appearances in 2020 before battling injuries this past year. Calhoun underwent surgeries on both his right knee and left hamstring, with that hamstring leading to another injured list stint late in the 2021 season. All told, Calhoun had only 182 PA in 2021, and he batted just .235/.297/.373.
The 34-year-old will now get a chance to bounce back in Arlington, returning to the AL West after playing with the Angels from 2012-19. Calhoun has long been a very solid defensive right fielder, and since breakout star Adolis Garcia acquitted himself pretty well defensively in part-time action in center field last year, Texas might opt to give Garcia more time in center with Calhoun taking over the bulk of right field duty.
Considering how Calhoun struggled in 2021, however, the Rangers might well see Calhoun as more of a part-time or platoon option rather than an everyday regular in the outfield. Since Texas clearly has some major spending in mind this winter (as evidenced by today’s agreement with Marcus Semien), we also shouldn’t rule out more additions to the outfield mix. For now, at least, Calhoun will join Garcia as a starter in the 2022 outfield.
Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic was first to report the Rangers were in agreement with Calhoun. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported it was a one-year, $5.2MM guarantee and contained a 2023 club option. Levi Weaver of the Athletic reported the option was valued at $5.5MM and didn’t contain a buyout figure.