Rangers retaining pitchers Heaney, Leclerc

November 5th, 2023

and  are returning to Texas.

The franchise announced Saturday that Heaney exercised his player option to remain a Ranger next season. The club exercised a team option on Leclerc to bring him back as well.

The moves marked the first significant offseason decisions for the Rangers as they look to defend their 2023 World Series title.

Heaney went 10-6 with a 4.15 ERA over 34 games (28 starts) during his first season with the Rangers. The left-hander appeared in five games (three starts) during the team's championship run, including a World Series Game 4 start in which he tossed five innings of one-run ball en route to the Rangers' 11-7 win.

Heaney, who joined the club last offseason as the Rangers looked to bolster the rotation, spent the last month of the regular season working out of the bullpen due to the Trade Deadline acquisitions of Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery. 

Heaney figures to be in Texas’ rotation plans for 2024, rejoining Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray and Dane Dunning.

Leclerc had four saves and a 2.68 ERA across 57 relief appearances during the regular season. He was a workhorse for Texas all year, especially during the postseason.

Leclerc posted a 3.29 ERA over 13 relief outings during the 2023 playoffs, saving four games and getting the win in another. His 13 postseason outings tied for the third-highest total in a single postseason.

Leclerc, who is the longest-tenured member of the World Series-winning squad, opened the season as the Rangers’ closer. But the coaching staff lost trust in the right-hander in high-leverage situations in mid-May as he struggled with his command and control. 

Manager Bruce Bochy pointed toward a nagging neck issue as the source of Leclerc’s early struggles. Once he was fully healthy, he looked exactly like the guy the Rangers expected in Spring Training. 

Leclerc has spent his entire professional career as a Ranger, signing as an international free agent in 2010 and making his MLB debut in ‘16. 

Both players are eligible to become free agents after the 2024 season.