Balling on a budget isn’t exactly a phrase that has been used to describe the Texas Rangers’ last few offseasons. 

In the two offseasons before winning their first World Series title, the Rangers committed $800 million to revamp their roster nearly completely. 

However, this past winter was different. 

Due to difficulties surrounding the Bally Sports TV deal, the Rangers couldn’t shoot for the top of the free agent market like they have become so accustomed to doing. Instead, they were forced to find the “diamonds in the rough,” which has been a pillar of this organization’s philosophy for years. 

Following the Rangers’ World Series win, the gaping hole in their roster came in the bullpen. Josh Hader had been one of baseball’s best relievers for the better part of the last five or so years, so there was a natural link between Hader’s camp and the Rangers. 

Texas had only one problem: they didn’t have the money. However, that “problem” has been anything but that throughout the first month and a half of the 2024 season. 

Josh Hader ended up signing with the rival Houston Astros for 5 years and $95 million and, since signing that deal, has posted an ERA of 6.14 in 14.2 innings. However, that’s not what this story is about at all.  The Rangers pivoted from the top of the market toward two veterans. Texas inked Kirby Yates to a one-year $4.5 million deal and David Robertson to a one-year $11.5 million deal.  That’s $79 million less guaranteed money than the Astros committed to Hader. If the start of the 2024 season has proved one thing, it’s that you may not always get what you pay for. 

Following a winter in which he negotiated his own contract, David Robertson has been the Rangers’ Swiss army knife coming out of the bullpen.

In 20.2 innings pitched, Robertson had an ERA of just 0.87. 

Wednesday afternoon’s game against the A’s just about summed that up. Robertson came in following Josh Sborz’s injury and stranded three A’s on base en route to two hitless innings in a Rangers 12-11 win.  With Robertson becoming the Rangers’ best setup man, all Texas needed was someone to finish games…enter Kirby YatesYates was fired into the closer role following Jose Leclerc’s early-season struggles, which was really no problem for the Hawaii native.

Yates saved a major league-leading 41 games with the Padres in 2019, but that was four years ago…. Or does that matter? 

In 16 innings pitched, Yates has thrown to the tune of a 0.56 ERA and has converted seven out of seven save opportunities with several two-inning saves. 

The Rangers may not have secured a win on Dream Car Week, but it’s safe to say that Texas has spun a dollar with Robertson and Yates. 


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