Monday Newsletter time: Rangers have found a new hitting coach. Here's what to know about Tim Hyers.
He left Boston to seek out new opportunities, and has landed one under someone he coached with in Los Angeles.
The Texas Rangers seem hellbent on turning their offense around, and, frankly, they should be.
It will take players, but the Rangers believe they have landed two coaches who will attract free agents.
First was the hire of bench coach Donnie Ecker, who will also serve as offensive coordinator after two seasons as the San Francisco Giants’ hitting coach. Next up is yet-to-be-announced hiring of hitting coach Tim Hyers, who quickly found a new job after choosing to leave the Boston Red Sox.
The initial report on Hyers’ hire Sunday, by Jeff Passan at ESPN, has been confirmed. The Rangers aren’t commenting and won’t comment until they make the official announcement later this week.
Hyers comes regarded as one of the best hitting coaches in baseball. The Red Sox lead the majors in average .(266), slugging percentage (.455), OPS (.790) and runs per game (5.31) in Hyers’ four seasons, according to a story in The Athletic.
Boston had the players to help during that stretch, namely Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts. Betts, of course, was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers before the 2020 season.
Speaking of the Dodgers, Hyers was their assistant hitting coach in 2016 and 2017 … while Rangers manager Chris Woodward was the Dodgers’ third-base coach.
Hyers will take offer an offense that finished last in baseball in OPS (.670) and on-base percentage (.294), 29th in average (.232) and 28th in slugging (.375) and runs (625).
The Rangers have said that most of their offseason spending money will go to position players, and the Rangers don’t have a position they can’t upgrade. They won’t be able to upgrade all of them, but they hope to make multiple additions to the lineup.
Qualifying-offer decisions made
As expected, the four free-agent shortstops eligible to receive qualifying offers from their 2021 clubs received them before the Sunday deadline.
Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story and Marcus Semien were given one-year contracts worth $18.4 million, which they are expected to decline in pursuit of lucrative multi-year contracts.
The teams that sign them must surrender their second-highest draft pick, which in the Rangers’ case would be their second-round pick.
Javier Baez, who was ineligible for a qualifying offer after being traded during the season, is the fifth big-name shortstop available.
The Rangers could also pursue an outfielder for offense. They thought they might be close to signing Nick Castellanos before the 202 season. He’s a free agent again after opting out of his contract with the Cincinnati Reds, but the Reds gave him a qualifying offer.
The Rangers are planning to sign starting pitchers, though not necessarily those at the top of the heap. But right-handers Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman, two of the bigger-name free agents, weren’t eligible for a qualifying offer after receiving one before last season.
Also not receiving qualifying offers were righty Jon Gray and left-handers Steven Matz and Carlos Rodon.
The Wilsons did not miss the end of daylight saving time. In fact, we tried to take advantage of it by squeezing in some work for the Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast YouTube channel. As for the news stuff at the Texas Rangers Newsletter, here it is in case you missed it.
The Sunday Read: Ron Washington has a ring and lingering regret.
Friday on the Farm: How the Rangers are trying to upgrade the farm.
Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast: Chris Young talks baseball, Princeton hoops.
My thought is the little dog had it coming. Enjoy. See you Tuesday.