Reliever Garrett Richards has reached free company after clearing waivers, report Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of the Athletic (Twitter link). It isn’t clear whether or not the hurler was launched by the Rangers or elected free company in lieu of an outright task, however that’s a largely immaterial distinction. A return to the open market was the anticipated final result after Texas designated him for task final week.
Richards, 34, signed a one-year assure with Texas over the offseason. A career-long starter, he was transferred to the bullpen halfway by way of final season with the Purple Sox. The best-hander had a 3.42 ERA in 26 1/3 innings in that capability, and the Rangers took a flier to see if he’d keep that sort of manufacturing over a full season. That didn’t wind up being the case, as Richards managed solely a 5.27 ERA over 42 2/3 frames whereas working primarily in low-leverage conditions.
All the time a tough thrower, Richards has averaged a strong 94.4 MPH on his fastball and 88.6 MPH on a slider that has been his main providing this season. He’s generated swinging strikes on a good 12.1% of his total pitches (narrowly above the 11.8% league common for relievers). That hasn’t resulted in lots of strikeouts, although, and Richards usually offers up a good quantity of onerous contact. Even with a sturdy 52.6% ground-ball price, he didn’t handle to constantly maintain runs off the board in Arlington.
Tough ERA apart, Richards’ mixture of velocity and ground-ball tendencies will certainly appeal to some curiosity from golf equipment now that he’s out there on the open market. It stays to be seen whether or not he’ll land an instantaneous main league roster spot, however he shouldn’t have any scarcity of minor league alternatives on the very least. There’s no monetary draw back for an additional workforce in checking in, because the Rangers are accountable for what stays of Richards’ $4.5MM wage this season. (Texas can be on the hook for a $1MM buyout of a 2023 membership choice). Any signing workforce would solely owe Richards the prorated portion of the $700K minimal wage for any time spent on their massive league roster.
If Richards indicators elsewhere by September 1, he’d be eligible for the signing membership’s postseason roster. That’s true no matter whether or not he’s instantly added to the majors, as gamers in a company however not on a membership’s 40-man roster by the flip of September are nonetheless eligible for the playoffs through petition to the league workplace if changing somebody on the injured checklist.