The Rangers have again bolstered their pitching staff, agreeing to terms with right-handed pitcher Garrett Richards on a one-year, $4.5 million deal. The contract also includes a 2023 club option at $9 million with a $1 million buyout, per a source.
To make room for Richards on the roster, righty reliever Jonathan Hernándezwas moved to the 60-day injured list as he continues to rehab from Tommy John surgery, which he underwent last spring.
Richards was teammates with the recently signed Martín Pérez in Boston last season. In 2021, Richards made 40 appearances (22 starts) with a 4.87 ERA over 136 innings. He thrived in the reliever role, posting a 3.42 ERA in 18 appearances. He allowed just one home run as a reliever, compared to his 18 allowed as a starter.
With experience as both a starter and reliever, he’s expected to fill a much needed multi-inning relief role for the Rangers bullpen and is not likely to slot into the rotation at this point in camp. His first eight big league seasons with the Angels were solid, including a career year in 2014 when he had a 2.61 ERA over 168 2/3 innings, but injuries have prevented him from thriving in recent years. He’s recently undergone two elbow surgeries, including Tommy John in 2018.
“He’s a multi-inning guy,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. “Definitely a reliever. One thing we didn't want to do and he didn't want to do is kind of go back and forth -- starter, reliever, starter, reliever through the season. He just wants to be strictly one way and then obviously our need was really in the relief role.
"Multi-inning, come in and blow the doors off some guys, whoever's in the lineup. He’s got really good stuff. I feel like we can really help him as well to utilize his stuff a little bit more effectively. He’s excited to be here.”
The pitching staff is fully shaping out now with just three weeks left until Opening Day. With Jon Gray and Pérez slotting into the top of the rotation, Richards is likely to join Joe Barlow, Josh Sborz, Brett Martin, Dennis Santana and Spencer Patton as guaranteed bullpen pieces.