When Rangers fans checked their phones at their Christmas Eve parties this week they got some not-so-fun baseball news. Mitch Garver had signed with the Seattle Mariners on a two-year $24 million deal.
Garver was a key piece of the World Series-winning team after the Rangers brought him in from the Twins before the 2022 season in exchange for new Toronto Blue Jay Isiah Kiner-Falefa and pitching prospect Ronny Henriquez.
In the 2023 postseason, Garver slashed .226/.317/.434 with 3 home runs and 14 RBI. The New Mexico native also provided moments such as a grand slam in Game 1 of the ALDS and the go-ahead hit in the clinching game of the World Series.
With Garver moving on to the AL West rival Mariners, and outfielder/DH Robbie Grossman also in the free agent pool, the Rangers are left with the question of how they will fill the DH spot in their lineup.
The Free Agent Market – The Rangers won’t be swinging for the top of the free agent market and signing a top bat such as Cody Bellinger or Matt Chapman but they could most definitely utilize the free agent pool to grab an extra bat.
If Texas were to sign someone to get at-bats at DH it would likely be a veteran player whom they would try to sign on a team-friendly deal.
One player who is a good fit is Red Sox first baseman/DH Justin Turner. Last season in Boston, Turner had an excellent season hitting 23 Home Runs and 96 RBI in 146 Games.
Turner is a good veteran player who won the World Series with the Dodgers in 2020 and could easily slide into the middle of the lineup at DH or first base when Nathaniel Lowe needs a day off.
Other options could include outfielders such as Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, or Adam Duvall.
In-house options – It’s very likely that the Rangers could go with someone already on the roster such as Ezequiel Duran or Sam Huff. If that’s the case, the Rangers will likely want one player who plays infield and one who plays outfield to take at-bats at DH.
The new-found hole in the lineup could open the door for some of the Rangers’ top prospects to make the team and have an impact as rookies.
Obviously when you talk Rangers prospects everyone’s mind first jumps to 2023 first-round pick Wyatt Langford. Langford tore up the minor leagues slashing .317/.480/.1.157 with 10 home runs and 30 RBI across 4 levels.
If Langford impresses at big league Spring Training he has a shot to make the team out of camp and would likely rotate through DH and left field. However, don’t be surprised if Texas looks to get him some more reps at AAA.
Another name to watch out for is Rangers 2020 first-round pick Justin Foscue. In 122 games with AAA Round Rock this season Foscue slashed .266/.394/.486 with 18 home runs and 84 RBI.
Foscue would get a bulk of his at-bats at DH but has the ability to play first base which the Rangers need in order to get Nathaniel Lowe an occasional day off. Foscue can also slide into a corner outfield spot if needed.