The Rangers fell to 67-95 and last place in the AL West last year for many reasons, but their run prevention was a huge one. They allowed 848 runs, tied for second-most in the AL, because they allowed the second-most homers and struck out fewer opposing batters than any other AL team. Their depth chart prior to the winter meetings included exactly one starter who made even 10 starts last year, and that guy, Mike Minor, just finished his first season as a major-league starter since 2014. Adding any starters, even mediocre ones, with the potential to make 25-30 starts was obligatory if the Rangers wanted to survive the 2019 season. They went further than that and added one of the best starters on the market in Lance Lynn, signing him to a reported three-year, $30 million deal, a surprisingly low annual salary given what he showed at the end of 2018.
Lynn missed 2016 after Tommy John surgery and returned quickly to make 33 starts in 2017 and 29 more last year, but his potential value was masked by a terrible stretch by the Twins to start last season. After the Yankees acquired Lynn in a trade, he returned to his previous pitching plan, going up with his four-seamer more, and all of his results were better. By Baseball-Reference's WAR, which is based on runs allowed, he generated twice the value in two months for the Yankees that he did in four months for the Twins. Given that performance and his 3-WAR year in 2017, Lynn should be an easy projection for 30 or so starts and at least two wins of value per year on the contract, which might make him the Rangers' best starter this season.