Rangers agree to two-year deal with star outfielder

Rangers agree to two-year deal with star outfielder

The Rangers have agreed to a two-year contract with star outfielder Adolis Garcia, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

Garcia is guaranteed $14M over the two-year term, reports Jon Heyman of the New York Post. The contract contains a series of escalators based on MVP voting that could further increase his salary in year two of the deal. The contract can max out at $20.25M total over two years, Heyman adds.

The agreement comes on the same day that Garcia and the team were slated to head to an arbitration hearing. Garcia’s camp had filed for a $6.9M salary for the upcoming season, while the team had countered at $5M. That hearing will now no longer be necessary, and the two-year term on the deal eliminates the chance of a hearing next offseason as well. Garcia will still be under club control for one final year after this two-year pact draws to a close, so the two sides will again have to deal with a potential arb hearing in the 2025-26 offseason.

Garcia, 31 next month, has emerged as a late-blooming star and one of the driving factors behind the Rangers’ 2023 World Series title. He’s been a key presence in the lineup and in the outfield for Texas in each of the past three seasons, hitting .246/.305/.472 (110 wRC+) with plus defense and baserunning.

Garcia’s 2023 campaign, however, was far and away his best overall season to date. Garcia posted a career-best 10.3% walk rate and career-low 27.7% strikeout rate while hitting .245/.328/.508 with 39 home runs — second-most in the American League and tied for seventh-most in all of MLB. That performance earned Garcia an All-Star nod, and his premium defense resulted in his first career Gold Glove Award. His heroics continued into the postseason, where he hit .323/.382/.726 with a staggering eight home runs in just 15 games and 68 plate appearances. Garcia was on another level during the ALCS, when he clocked five home runs and slugged just shy of .900 en route to ALCS MVP honors.

An ill-timed oblique strain suffered on a swing during Game 3 of the World Series prompted the Rangers to remove Garcia from their World Series roster, but Texas soldiered on without their star right fielder and toppled the upstart Diamondbacks in a 4-1 series victory. By all accounts, Garcia has long since healed up from that injury and is a full-go for spring training.

Heading into 2024, Garcia will again reprise his role as the team’s primary right fielder. He’ll likely be joined by center fielder Leody Taveras, but the complexion of the Texas outfield is beginning to change in dramatic fashion. Top prospect Evan Carter made his big league debut late in the 2023 season and took the playoffs by storm. He’s just 21 years old, but after hitting .306/.413/.635 in 75 plate appearances down the stretch and .300/.417/.500 in another 72 postseason trips to the plate, he’s the heavy favorite to play left field regularly.

Meanwhile, 2023 No. 4 overall pick Wyatt Langford breezed through minor league pitching in 2023, batting .360/.480/.677 in 200 plate appearances across four levels. Langford reached Triple-A for the final five games of his season and is in the mix to break camp with the Rangers. He could join Carter and Garcia in a carousel of sorts between the outfield corners and the DH spot in manager Bruce Bochy’s lineup.

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