Texas Rangers In for Former Astros Pitcher? Links Continue Despite Stalled Off-Season Amidst TV Deal Crisis

Published 01/20/2024, 11:10 AM EST

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Cowboy boots tapping a nervous rhythm against polished hardwood floors. Stetsons tilted low, brows furrowed in concentration. The Texas Rangers are locked in a delicate two-step tango—one fueled by the pursuit of free-agent fireballer Hector Neris, the other a financial fandango dictated by an unresolved Bally Sports TV deal.

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Imagine Rangers’ legend Nolan Ryan, his fastball a blur of defiance, trading pitches with a stack of legal documents. This, friends, is the current state of affairs in Arlington—a high-stakes dance where every move could be a game-changer. So buckle up, baseball fans. This is about to be a massive unpacking of this double play, one pitch at a time.

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The Rangers’ bullpen hummed a steady tune in 2023, but adding a flamethrower like Hector Neris can transform it into a symphony of strikeouts. The 34-year-old righty sizzled for the Houston Astros last season, posting a microscopic 1.71 ERA and fanning 77 batters in just 68 and ⅓ innings. That kind of dominance speaks volumes, and Nolan Writin reports that Texas is hot on his trail.

Neris’ veteran presence and playoff experience (he was part of the Astros’ 2022 World Series championship team) will be invaluable in a division increasingly heated by the Astros’ recent acquisition of Josh Hader.

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Bringing him aboard can help the Texas Rangers stake their claim as the undisputed kings of the AL West. However, the Rangers’ pursuit of Neris and other upgrades may stall in the financial waltz of the Bally Sports TV deal.

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Bally Blues: The financial fiddle sticks a wrench in the works

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Without reaching a new agreement before February 1st, the Bally Sports TV deal threatens a $111 million yearly revenue shortfall for the Rangers. The Dallas Morning News reports that the parent company of Bally RSN, Diamond Sports, is currently locked in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.

This financial uncertainty puts a damper on the team’s rotational plans. Nolan Writin predicts the Rangers will hold off on major moves until the Bally situation dances to a resolution. Time is certainly of the essence, as the deal deadline looms like a fastball hurtling toward home plate. So, where does this leave the Texas Rangers?

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Stuck in a double play with high stakes. On one hand, they have a golden opportunity to bolster their roster for two years with a talent like Neris for a sum of $15 million (MLBTR predictions) and solidify their divisional dominance. On the other hand, their financial future hinges on the unpredictable Bally negotiations.

The clock is ticking, a metronome counting down to a financial fastball aimed at the Texas Rangers’ free agency dreams. Can they hit a walk-off homer with Neris before it strikes them out? Or will budget woes leave them stranded on base, a bittersweet footnote in this high-stakes two-step? Every pitch in Texas crackles with tension, keeping baseball fans across the nation glued to their seats, breathless as the drama unfolds.

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Written by:

Shrabana Sengupta

410Articles

One take at a time

"Those who gaze outward dream, but those who turn inward awaken." A pro-writer for MLB EssentiallySports, I’ve been a fan of the New York Yankees since my school days. In my adolescent years, I was introduced to the iconic franchise through one of my beloved Friends characters, Joey.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj

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