ARLINGTON, Texas — The World Series champion Texas Rangers finalized trades Friday for veteran reliever David Robertson and outfielder Travis Jankowski, but still do not have an agreement with AL Championship Series MVP Adelis Garcia before salary arbitration hearings.
Robertson agreed to a one-year, $11.5 million deal that includes a $10 million salary in 2024 and a $7 million mutual option for 2025 with a $1.5 million buyout. The speedy and versatile Jankowski, who led the Rangers with 19 stolen bases last season, received a one-year deal for $1.7 million.
Garcia was the only one of the eight Rangers eligible for salary arbitration who had not reached an agreement with the team two weeks ago. The two-time All-Star, who set an MLB postseason record with 22 RBI last fall, asked for $6.9 million and the Texans offered $5 million. That was the largest gap among the 23 players in the league who exchanged salary offers with their teams.
“Everyone knows the situation we are in,” Garcia said through a translator before the team’s annual awards dinner on Friday night. “Right now, we are waiting for the next hearing, and everything is as it is now.”
General manager Chris Young said there was a good dialogue with Garcia and his representatives, which he described as “very encouraging back and forth.”
Robertson's deal was finalized after he completed a physical. He has started for five teams since returning from Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and most of 2021. He has made 120 appearances over the past two seasons.
The right-hander played for seven teams in his 15 major league seasons, the first seven of them with the New York Yankees. He has made the playoffs nine times, winning the 2009 World Series with the Yankees and the 2022 National League pennant with the Phillies. He is 63-42 with 175 saves and a 2.90 ERA in 793 regular season games, along with a 6-0 record and 3.04 ERA in 42 postseason appearances.
Jankowski hit .263 with a career-high 30 RBI in 107 games last season. His 63 starts were distributed among all three sites.
Texas traded outfielder J.B. Martinez to Atlanta for minor league right-hander Tyler Owens, and designated right-handed pitcher Daniel Duarte to make room on the 40-man roster.
Garcia will get a big raise no matter what. The Cuban, who turns 31 in March, was eligible for salary arbitration for the first time after earning $747,760 last season when he set career highs with 39 homers and 107 RBI. He had 27 homers and 101 RBI in 2022.
When asked about juggling the baseball business, Garcia answered in English.
He said, “It's difficult for me because you know how I play, and everyone knows me. I just go out and try every time to win for the team.” “Try to be a good teammate, sometimes I can't understand how it works. But I'm a little disappointed. But that's what it is. I'm here to help the club, and be the same guy.”
Garcia said he didn't know if there was a chance he could avoid a hearing. The Rangers haven't gone to a single game since 2000 with designated hitter Lee Stevens.
Garcia was an emotional leader with a big bat for the Rangers, hitting .357 with five homers and 15 RBI in the ALCS against Houston. He went deep in five straight postseason outings, including an 11th-inning winner in Game 1 of the World Series against Arizona. But he missed the last two World Series games with an indirect problem.
“I feel good,” Garcia said through a translator, adding that he took about a month off after the season before resuming training. He added: “I am still very happy and proud of what the team was able to achieve, and I look forward to next (season) and helping my team repeat that.”
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