The Texas Rangers have extended Jose Leclerc to a 4 year/$14.75 million dollar extension with a club option for two year.
Leclerc has been outstanding since joining the major league staff and had an amazing year in 2018. In 57 innings he had a 1.56 ERA striking out 86 while saving 12 games of the 16 opportunities he got. He replaced Kela after he was traded and solidified himself as the closer for the remainder of the season.
There was a lot of talk about Leclerc being traded this season at the break. He is a very attractive reliever with team control at a cheap price. This deal will not change the fact that he would be an inexpensive piece for a contender. But the Rangers seem intent on keeping him around. In the current climate of Arlington, nobody in untouchable at the trade deadline. But prying Leclerc away now, would be a deal just too good to pass up. The Rangers plan on opening the new stadium with Leclerc as the closer.
It’s not surprising to see the Rangers lock a key young player. With the Harper and Machado deals taking so long, It’s hard to imagine both sides were not open to listening. Especially with Kimbrel still not signed and spring training underway. It would not be a surprise for the Ranges to start extending other young core players. You have to imagine that teams around the league will start reaching out to players before allowing them to hit the open market. Especially since those players may now be winning to listen. Look at Arenado in Colorado.
Lot’s of big names still out there on the free agent market. Dallas Keuchel, Gio Gonzales, James Shields and Adam jones to name a few. It has become obvious that teams are being more budget conscience while players and agents remain hard headed. It will be interesting to see how teams approach things moving forward. It’s definitely fun to watch. It’s also a great move by the Rangers.
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