Rotation Stability

Holland
The Rangers still may have question marks at first base, left field and designated hitter to address this offseason, but the one area they’ve got figured out for years to come is the starting rotation.  With the recent signing of Martin Perez to a four-year contract extension, Texas has their top four starting pitchers locked up for the next several seasons.
Perez is now signed through 2017, with the Rangers holding club options for 2018, 2019, and 2020.  Matt Harrison is also signed through 2017, with Texas holding a club option for 2018.  Derek Holland is signed through 2016, with club options for the Rangers in 2017 and 2018.  Yu Darvish is technically signed through 2017, though a clause in his contract would convert 2017 into a player option if he meets certain Cy Young voting thresholds between now and then.

Consider exactly what this means.  Not only do the Rangers have four quality starting pitchers under contract for at least the next three seasons (and most likely even more), but they have them in a Texas uniform during some of the most prime years of their respective careers.

Barring a trade or something else unforeseen, Martin Perez will be a Texas Ranger from age 23 up to 30, Matt Harrison will be a Texas Ranger from age 28 up to 32, Derek Holland will be a Texas Ranger from age 27 up to 31, and Yu Darvish will be a Texas Ranger from age 27 up to 30.  Just let all that soak in for a minute.  Is there any other team in all of MLB who can boast having what’s basically their entire rotation locked up for those prime years?

This gives Texas a tremendous advantage over most other teams, many of whom go into each offseason needing to fill multiple holes in their starting rotation, often times paying well over market value in order to do so.  Meanwhile, the Rangers don’t have to deal with such uncertainty, thanks to the long-term vision of Jon Daniels and the rest of his cohorts in the front office.

After all those years Ranger fans spent desperately pleading, “When’s this team gonna spend some money and get some pitching in here?,” a series of shrewd moves combining player scouting and development, brilliant trades, and an intensely-targeted focus on the international market has finally given those fans the answer they’ve long desired.

Bob Bland is a Staff Writer and host of the “Diggin’ In” podcast for ShutDownInning. He can be reached at Bob.Bland@ShutDownInning.com or  on Twitter @SDIBob.
Bob Bland

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