The Texas Rangers' aggressive approach in MLB free agency over the last couple years resulted in the franchise's first World Series championship in 2023. Their half-billion investment on a middle infield (Corey Seager and Marcus Semien) is well-documented by now, but the organization was especially dependent on the open market to assemble a formidable pitching rotation.

Injuries forced general manager Chris Young to hit the trade deadline hard and acquire Jordan Montgomery and Max Scherzer. He is directing his attention back to the free agent pool now, however, agreeing to a two-year, $22 million contract with starter Tyler Mahle, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.

The right-hander, who has recorded a 4.30 ERA in 122 career starts with the Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins, missed most of the 2023 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May. He will be given a chance to lock down a solid role in the rotation upon his 2024 return.

Mahle's best full year came in 2021 with the Reds, when he tallied a respectable 3.75 ERA and 210 strikeouts. The home run ball has been a weakness for him in the past, but this is a sensible deal to make with Montgomery and other arms potentially headed elsewhere this winter.

At 29 years of age, Tyler Mahle is a fine insurance policy for the Rangers to employ going into next season. The defending champions should still be on the attack in MLB free agency, given the monumental success that type of philosophy just produced, but this is another upside move that could pay dividends.

Mahle was cruising through his first five starts with the Twins in 2023 (3.16 ERA) and is hoping to pick up where he left off when he likely takes the mound again next summer.