Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun missed nearly three months of the 2021 season after suffering a broken arm upon being hit by a pitch, but he’s expected to return to the lineup this week, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The club has 18 games left to get a look at Calhoun before determining whether to tender him a contract in arbitration this winter, and manager Chris Woodward offered no certainties when discussing Calhoun’s future. “Unfortunately, he hasn’t played enough for us to really evaluate him,” Woodward said (via Grant). “So, we may have to make a really tough decision one way or the other. We’re going to have to kind of go out on a limb.”
Calhoun, 27 this offseason, was the headlining prospect the Rangers received from the Dodgers in 2017’s Yu Darvish trade. He’s yet to establish himself as a consistently productive hitter, however, and was batting a rather pedestrian .254/.323/.385 in 226 plate appearances before heading to the injured list. Calhoun’s lack of playing time and career .248/.304/.418 batting line to date will limit his arbitration price. That, coupled with the fact that he has a minor league option remaining in 2022, could be a saving grace. So long as the Rangers don’t mind carrying him on the 40-man roster, there’s little downside in tendering him a contract, but Woodward’s mention of a “tough decision” appears to indicate that there’s at least some debate on how to proceed.