As expected, the Rangers and free agent Colby Lewis have agreed to a one-year deal, reportedly worth $4 million, likely with room for incentives. Cobra finished 2014 with a team-high 170.1 innings pitched and an ERA of 5.18 (4.36 xFIP), though was about a run and a half better after the All Star Break (3.86 ERA).
At the end of October I speculated that "[last year] Cobra earned $2 million, and given some innings-reached thresholds in his 2015 contract, I suspect we're looking at something in the range of $3-4 million." When it appeared Lewis and the Rangers were at odds, propelling Colby to test free agency in the first place, I was worried that he was seeking something in the $7-$8 million range. Whether he couldn't find that figure on the open market (which was probably the case) or he just really, really wanted to come back to play for Texas (which probably wasn't the case), it's a very good thing that he signed on the cheap.
With their #4 starter now signed and squared away, the Rangers will now focus their offseason attention on procuring another starting pitcher to slot with Yu Darvish and Derek Holland at the top of the rotation, and a corner outfield/DH bat. Assuming the organization plans to stay within the realm of a $20 million budget this winter, that leaves the club about $15 million to fill those holes.
This can work.