The 36-year-old veteran went 17-9 in 2015, but he had a 4.66 ERA. Blake specified Lewis' deal will mark his seventh season with the team.
Bill Jones of CBS 11 weighed in on the overall value of the new contract:
1y, $6 million for Colby Lewis...a fitting number considering all the replacement parts in his body #sixmilliondollarman— Bill Jones (@CBS11BillJones) January 18, 2016
Although his recent bottom-line results were impressive, Lewis obviously benefited from a lot of run support when he took the mound en route to a career-best wins total. It was impressive he even played, though, considering he gutted through much of the second half of the season on a torn left meniscus.
The Rangers have had a high-powered offense that hasn't been complemented by pitching well enough for a number of years. This held true last season as Texas was third in baseball in runs scored but 23rd in team ERA.
One big reason the Rangers were able to run to the American League West division title was because they did address pitching at the MLB trade deadline. Texas acquired Cole Hamels, who went 7-1 in 12 starts, helping the club edge out the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels in the standings.
Lewis doesn't have an elite skill set when it comes to his pitching arsenal. To be fair, a long list of injuries is largely to blame for that. He is a fly-ball pitcher who yielded 26 home runs in 2015 and relies heavily on a four-seam fastball that seldom reaches 90 mph.
Thanks to a biting slider and movement on pitches that don't vary much in velocity, per BrooksBaseball.net, Lewis is able to deceive hitters enough, as he led the Rangers with 142 strikeouts.
One has to respect Lewis for continuing to plug away when most players with his history of ailments would have probably walked away from the game. The Rangers are rewarding him for the long road he's traveled to buck the odds and continue his baseball career.
The longtime MLB hurler isn't getting any younger, though, and he is a short-term fix. If the Rangers don't upgrade their rotation more, they cannot legitimately expect to win their maiden World Series title.