The Rangers announced they have declined their $5.5MM club option on outfielder Kole Calhoun for 2023. There was no buyout attached. Calhoun will now become a free agent.
Calhoun signed with Texas last offseason, inking a $5.2MM guarantee after a down season in Arizona. The veteran outfielder had hit 16 home runs for the Snakes during the shortened 2020 season, but he was limited to five longballs and 51 games by injury in 2021. The Rangers took a shot on a bounceback, hoping to install a quality left-handed power bat into the corner outfield mix.
The 35-year-old’s lone season in Arlington didn’t go as planned. Calhoun appeared in 125 games and stepped to the plate 424 times, but he managed a career-worst .196/.257/.330 line. He punched out in a personal-high 32.1% of his trips to the plate against a modest 6.4% walk rate, and his power output wasn’t close to compensating for the subpar on-base percentage. Declining the option was an easy call for general manager Chris Young and his staff.
Calhoun heads back to the open market as a depth option in the corner outfield, and it’s possible he may have to take a minor league offer with an invitation to Spring Training. The Rangers figure to explore the market for upgrades on the grass, with Adolis García the only player who seems locked into a spot in the outfield at the moment.