3 Shohei Ohtani backup plans Rangers can sign to repeat as World Series champs

While the Rangers most likely won't land Shohei Ohtani, there are three other players they can target to help them repeat as World Series champs.

Sep 17, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA;  Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani (17) in the
Sep 17, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani (17) in the / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 3
Next

The Texas Rangers are one of the three teams that reportedly dropped out of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes according to Jeff Passan of ESPN. The Rangers clearly don't need Ohtani to win, as they just won in 2023 without him, but boy, would that have been a dream addition.

Texas already had one of, if not the best lineup in the majors without Shohei, and with him it would've been just unfair. While Ohtani was the dream, there are still several players Chris Young can target who would help the Rangers repeat as World Series champions with their willingness to spend money.

1) Josh Hader

The Rangers might've won the World Series this past season and got good enough relief pitching in the postseason, but their bullpen in the regular season was subpar, to say the least. The Rangers ranked 24th in the majors with a 4.77 bullpen ERA. The only teams that finished below them won 73 games or fewer.

The Rangers need to add multiple arms to help fortify their bullpen, but a good place to start would be locking down their closer role. Will Smith was their primary closer for most of the regular season, but he had his struggles and is a free agent. Aroldis Chapman had some save opportunities, but he didn't do much with them and is also a free agent.

Jose Leclerc was Texas' closer for much of their postseason run, but he converted just four saves in nine tries in the regular season. Leclerc pitched well for most of the year but hasn't saved more than 14 games in a season.

Adding a proven superstar closer like Josh Hader to lock down games for them is the dream scenario. Hader had another monster year this past season with the Padres, posting a 1.28 ERA in 61 appearances, converting 33 saves in 38 tries. The price won't be cheap, but the production would be more than worthwhile for this Rangers team in desperate need of relief help.