Inevitable news surrounding the Texas Rangers and their starting rotation officially broke on Thursday morning, as the Texas Rangers and Colby Lewis made it official: Lewis is returning for a sixth season with the Rangers after his remarkable comeback in 2014 following a 20-month layoff. The club announced Lewis signed a one-year deal but didn't disclose financial terms, which are reported to be $4 million.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels had made it clear earlier in the week by saying he planned on having Lewis' contract wrapped up by the upcoming weekend, which he beat by a couple of days.
Lewis became a free agent on Nov. 1, deciding to test the market instead of taking a deal from Texas before the Rangers' exclusive negotiating window closed, but ultimately it was a mutual desire to have the 35-year-old back in the Rangers' rotation in 2015 after he proved to be healthy again in 2014.
Lewis struggled early in the season, learning to pitch without chronic hip pain that had been alleviated with an unprecedented hip resurfacing procedure, and that led to his numbers being rather unsightly at 10-14 with a 5.18 ERA. But his numbers over the second half of the season told a different story, as he compiled a 3.86 ERA and averaged 6 2/3 innings per start after the all-star break. He ended up leading all Rangers pitchers in innings pitched and tied ace Yu Darvish for the club lead with 10 wins.
Lewis is now the third sure thing in the Rangers' rotation, along with Darvish and Derek Holland. He is projected to fill out the back of the Rangers' rotation, either as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter, while the Rangers plan on trading for another veteran starter to slot behind Holland and then let one of few young pitchers, highlighed by Nick Tepesch and Nick Martinez, battle for the 4 or 5 spot.