7. Texas Rangers
With a $171 million projected 2023 payroll, the Rangers are not among the game’s runaway spenders. But new general manager Chris Young has shown that when he really wants somebody, he ponies up.
Just within the first two years of his tenure, Young has signed Marcus Semien for seven years at $175 million, Corey Seager for 10 years at $325 million, and (a few weeks ago) pitcher Jacob deGrom for five years at $185 million.
For raw value, Seager is the franchise’s all-time champ. Entering the second season of a deal that runs through 2031, he was a so-so player on a bad team last season. Apparently $325 million doesn’t go as far as it used to.
Because his contract is only half as lengthy as Seager’s, deGrom emerges the franchise’s new AAV champion. His deal works out to a hefty $37 million per year. Does that sound like a lot? It is; in fact on an AAV scale until Judge’s recent re-signing by the Yankees it was the richest deal in MLB history.
Put Seager, deGrom and Semien together and you have $94.5 million in AAV tied up in just three players through 2027. That’s on a team with an average payroll in the mid 130s since 2021.
If those three players don’t produce, the Rangers run the real risk of being financially hamstrung by their deals.