The Rangers, up first this year in MLBTR’s annual Offseason Outlook series, will head into the offseason on the heels of a second straight last-place campaign. Texas will be hard-pressed to compete in 2022, but the front office has offered indications they’ll set out to put some pieces of the next contending Rangers’ club in place nevertheless.
- José Leclerc, RHP: $5.25MM through 2022 (includes $750K buyout of 2023 club option)
- Kohei Arihara, RHP: $2.6MM through 2022
Other Financial Commitments
- Owe $12.3MM (minus the league minimum salary) to the Yankees as part of the Rougned Odor trade
- Owe $6.75MM to the A’s as part of the Elvis Andrus trade
Projected Salaries for Arbitration-Eligible Players (projections via MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz)
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa — $4.9MM
- Willie Calhoun — $1.6MM
- Jharel Cotton — $1.2MM
- Brett Martin — $1.1 MM
- Taylor Hearn — $1.1MM
- Ronald Guzmán — $1MM
- Matt Bush — $900K
- Non-tender candidates: Calhoun, Cotton, Guzmán, Bush
- Jordan Lyles, Mike Foltynewicz, Charlie Culberson, Brock Holt, Hyeon-jong Yang, Hunter Wood, Jason Martin
The Rangers enter the offseason without much locked down anywhere on the roster. Texas began the transition to what they hope to be their next window of contention last offseason, parting ways with longtime roster fixtures Shin-Soo Choo, Lance Lynn, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor. That effort continued midseason with deals shipping off Joey Gallo and Kyle Gibson. However the front office wants to define that series of moves — rebuild, retool, etc. — this is clearly a franchise amidst an overhaul to a younger, cheaper core group of players.
With that uncertainty comes opportunity. With very few positions accounted for and most of the marquee names now gone, the front office has a near blank slate to construct the roster. They’re entering the winter with less than $30MM in guaranteed commitments and one of the smaller arbitration classes leaguewide. It’d be a surprise to see the club push player payroll up to their $160MM+ franchise-record level this winter, but there’s plenty of room even before approaching the approximate $95MM mark with which the Rangers opened 2021, itself the club’s lowest figure since 2011.
Regardless of precisely where ownership sets the budget, there should be a good bit of financial flexibility for the front office. General manger Chris Young acknowledged as much this summer, telling reporters he expects “to be very active in the free agent market, targeting players who fit kind of our next few years and what we’re trying to accomplish.” That’s something of a nebulous quote by design — being very active in free agency doesn’t inherently signify the club will be playing at the top of the market — but the opportunity to add an impact player or two is there.
Signing a high-end free agent wouldn’t necessarily mean the front office believes the team ready to contend in 2022. Young’s mention of the club’s “next few years” could indicate the team is looking at 2023 and beyond as a more realistic contention window. But the front office could identify some marquee, multi-year deal targets this offseason with an eye towards locking in some certainty a year or two down the road when a return to competitiveness looks more plausible.
Ideally, that’d probably be a run at a relatively young free agent, one whom the front office could reasonably expect to continue to be highly productive in 2023 and 2024. An all-out pursuit of the market’s top players like Carlos Correa or Corey Seager would still register as a surprise, but there are plenty of productive under-30 options slated to hit free agency. There’ll inevitably be speculation about a potential run at Dallas-area native Trevor Story, but the soon to be 29-year-old makes some sense even independent of geographic connections.
Javier Báez and Kyle Schwarber are also entering their age-29 campaigns, and neither player would cost draft pick compensation to sign (both were traded midseason, rendering them ineligible to receive qualifying offers). Michael Conforto likely would cost a draft choice, although it’s possible the front office takes a shot on him returning to form, particularly if his down 2021 significantly depresses his market.
None of those players would make the Rangers an immediate contender, but they all look like solid bets to offer above-average production for the next few years. There should be appeal for the front office in locking in strong play somewhere on the diamond, adding a still-young building block hopefully supplemented by steps forward from some of the club’s internal talent.
Texas can enter the offseason targeting specific players as opposed to areas of need, since so much of the current roster remains unsettled. Adolis García’s worrisome approach at the plate was exposed a bit in the second half, but he’s coming off an All-Star first half and brings an exciting combination of power and speed to the table. Given where the team is in the competitive cycle, the Rangers should continue to give him everyday run in either center or right field in hopes that increased reps against big league arms can improve his pitch recognition. Nathaniel Lowe had a nice season and is locked in at either of first base or designated hitter.
Otherwise, the position player group looks to be up in the air. Other than Lowe and Garcia, Andy Ibáñez is the only player still on the roster who hit at an average or better level last season, by measure of wRC+. Ibáñez makes plenty of contact and can bounce around the diamond, but he hadn’t appeared on Rangers’ farm system rankings at FanGraphs or Baseball America for the past three years. Giving him everyday run at second base would make sense, but he shouldn’t necessarily stand in the way of external upgrades at any one position.
The same is more or less true of Isiah Kiner-Falefa at shortstop. He puts the ball in play and rated very well defensively in his move from third base to short. Kiner-Falefa looks like a solid option at the bottom of a lineup, but he doesn’t hit for enough power or reach base enough to be an impact hitter. Were the Rangers to make a run at Báez or Story, they could bump Kiner-Falefa over to second or back to third (at least temporarily), where he should continue to be a plus defender.
Any move to the hot corner for Kiner-Falefa would be very brief, though, as former top ten pick and top prospect Josh Jung is on the doorstep of the majors. Jung mashed for his final couple seasons at Texas Tech, and he continued to rake this past season between Double-A and Triple-A. He only has 156 plate appearances at the minors’ top level under his belt, so it’s possible he starts next season in Triple-A. But if Jung continues to hit there as he did in 2021 (.348/.436/.652), he’ll be in the big leagues before too long.
It seems safe to assume the Rangers will have García, Lowe, Jung and Kiner-Falefa in their regular lineup relatively early into next season. That leaves catcher, a couple outfield positions, either of shortstop or second base (with Kiner-Falefa taking the other position) and designated hitter as possible areas of upgrade. Willie Calhoun looks likely to get another shot at DH, since his projected $1.6MM arbitration salary is eminently affordable. But he’s been plagued by both an unfortunate series of injuries and underperformance over the past two seasons, and manager Chris Woodward implied last month there might be some debate about whether to tender Calhoun a contract on the heels of those back-to-back disappointing years.
The Rangers aren’t likely to plug all those holes externally, and talented but unproven players like Nick Solak, DJ Peters and Leody Taveras could still get another opportunity to break through. But the broad uncertainty around the diamond highlights the freedom president of baseball operations Jon Daniels, Young, and the rest of the front office have in looking for upgrades over the coming months.
While free agency would be the most straightforward way to bolster the roster, the Texas front office could also look to the trade market for controllable targets. They’re not in position to make the best offer for a star in the Ketel Marte or Cedric Mullins mold, but they could look into some lower-tier options of interest. Ha-Seong Kim won’t have an obvious path to playing time in San Diego, for instance, and the Rangers were among the teams with interest in the 25-year-old during last offseason’s posting process.
Texas probably wouldn’t want to assume the remaining $23MM in guaranteed money on Kim’s deal after he struggled to a .202/.270/.352 line over his first 298 MLB plate appearances. But if San Diego were willing to pay down some of that money and/or include a prospect to facilitate a Kim trade — the Friars were reportedly looking to clear some payroll space to accommodate a big-ticket pickup at the deadline and might do the same this winter — then perhaps the Rangers consider buying low on a young player for whom they had some affinity not long ago. Kim’s just one speculative possibility, to be clear, but this type of general scenario is one that figures to be kicked around by the front office.
It’s a similar story on the pitching side. With Mike Foltynewicz and Jordan Lyles hitting free agency and the aforementioned Gibson trade, Dane Dunning is the only returning Rangers’ starter who topped 100 innings in 2021. Texas broke some young pitchers into the mix late in the year, but none of Spencer Howard, Glenn Otto or A.J. Alexy was especially impressive altogether. Alexy flashed the most promise when he tossed eleven innings of shutout ball over his first two starts, but he was hit hard in his next couple outings and ultimately posted matching 17.5% strikeout and walk rates.
Howard, Otto and Alexy were, to varying degrees, well-regarded as prospects. All three figure to get rotation opportunities at some point next season. But the Rangers can’t go into next year with an Opening Day rotation comprised only of Dunning, Howard, Otto, Alexy, Kolby Allard and Taylor Hearn. That’d be one of the worst starting groups in the majors on paper, and they’ll no doubt want to keep an eye on the innings tallies of their younger options.
Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray, Max Scherzer and Marcus Stroman are among the options at the top of the market, although it seems likelier Texas would look below that tier. Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood and Steven Matz could be counted on for more reliable mid-rotation production, but the Rangers are also in position to offer innings to rebound candidates. Last year’s flier on Foltynewicz didn’t pan out, but there’d be similar logic in scouring the lower tier of free agency and/or the non-tender market for starters coming off down years.
Taking a low-cost flier on a Dylan Bundy or Andrew Heaney type would address concerns about their other pitchers’ workloads, and it could give the Rangers a midseason trade chip if the free agent pickup turns things around. Signing a player who gets non-tendered — perhaps the Rays deem Ryan Yarbrough’s projected $4.4MM arbitration salary too expensive, to name one speculative example — could give the Rangers a much-needed controllable starting pitching option beyond next season.
It’s probably too early in the competitive cycle for the Rangers to devote much attention to upgrading their bullpen. They’ll surely be on the lookout for low-cost options in free agency or on the waiver wire, but a pursuit of Raisel Iglesias or Kendall Graveman in free agency seems unlikely. Spencer Patton, Joe Barlow, John King, Josh Sborz and Brett Martin all had nice seasons and should be in the mix for high-leverage innings next year, while José Leclerc and Jonathan Hernández should be back midseason after undergoing Tommy John surgeries this spring. The Rangers probably wouldn’t rule out trading anyone from that group, as something similar to last year’s Rafael Montero deal with the Mariners could still be in play. But Texas’ currently-healthy relievers are more solid than elite, and none would bring back a top prospect.
The Rangers have torn things down over the past calendar year, and there are no longer any obvious trade candidates in the Lynn or Gibson mold on the roster. While the front office would no doubt remain open to inquiries about some of their role players, the bigger focus now seems to be on reconstructing a contending club. It’s probably not feasible for Texas to put together a strong roster almost from scratch in the course of one offseason, but they can begin to lay that foundation by identifying and pursuing a few primary targets who could be parts of the next competitive club. This winter should kick off the next phase of the organizational restructuring — adding some external big league talent to make contention by 2023 a more realistic proposition.
excellent overview -thanks!
The Mets "Missed WAR"
Yay! Time for off-season outlook series already? I don’t know why I feel this way but I always find myself wishing they would go worse to first. I feel like Baltimore should have been first and Arizona 2nd with Texas only coming out after them. I’m not sure why I prefer it that way. Must just be some form of OCD.
Fire Jon Daniels
How does this method of rebuilding ever end? By stringing along rebound candidates year to year you never build any cohesion. It’s not like the astros where you’re tanking and banking number 1 picks for years.
“Rebuilding” means accumulating young prospects and waiting until a corps of them all hit paydirt at the same time, after which you start adding free agents to fill out the team. You maximize your chances of that happening by trading your good veterans for more young lottery tickets, and by signing rebounding pitchers in hopes of trading them mid-season for the same reason. But the key is always the guys in A and AA, and bringing them up together.
Playing young players and them getting better.
Agree 100%. As a Pirates fan, I’d rather they lose 90 or 100 games again before giving away yet another promising kid for a one season rental. And unless you’re going to put together a roster of guys who can compete, bringing guys into that dig into the playing time and maturation of young players at the top level doesn’t make much sense
Banking number 1 picks? There is only 1 first pick on their roster.
So, you’re saying tanking is the way to go? Should we also invest in trash cans and buzzers?
Tanking plus steroids a la former Rangers A-Rod, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz.
I’m not sure any free agents make sense for the Rangers, given they are at least 2-3 years away from just being competitive. To turn this around, they have to draft better, simple as that. Relying on signing and flipping pitchers like Minor, Lynn, and Gibson isn’t going to cut it. The draft has always been the Achilles heal of the Rangers. Outside of Gallo, what position player have the rangers drafted and developed in the last 10 years? Hopefully Leiter and Jung change that narrative..
I’m a Ranger fan, and I agree with you. But, they gotta do something to pacify fans. Haven’t spent big on free agent since choo, haven’t established any homegrown talent besides Gallo. Started saying in 17 or 18 2020 was the year they start spending. Remember cpl yrs ago were gonna be in on rondon, Donaldson, and Castellani and got none. And I don’t think they were ever even realistically in it. Now we’re going into 2022 with no cornerstone players, a $30m team, empty promises for 5 yrs, and a billion dollar stadium they need to put 3m butts into seats next year
Great over view.
Once Jung arrives, if he’s what most people think he is the Rangers infield is set for a while. Young, cost controlled, effective.
Adding pieces gradually makes sense.
I dunno about set as much as something to work with. Still short a middle infielder. If u put Jung at 3, Lowe at 1st, and ikf at one middle infield spot. But solak regressed a lot this season. Jury still out on him
Listing Mullins as someone Baltimore would trade is disingenuous. Rebuilding teams don’t move their young stars. That’s how they rebuild.
Mullins isn’t young.
well yea hes already 27, but he has like 1-2 years service time. Mullins should reach the free agent market after 2024 im pretty sure
Actually it’s after 2025. He’d cost a ton in any trade this winter.
Baltimore fans would scream if they traded the highlight of their rebuild so far. They don’t want to see the team take a step back.
Baltimore taking a step back what does that look like 10-152
They will take on Kimbrel’s contract or another teams bad contract to acquire a pitcher.. they can’t develop any on their own.. the offense is an embarrassment.. massive overpays to get free agents to come in
Kimberl is an option, they can just buy him out
Auto correct does not like his last name. Kimbrel*
Autocorrect is clearly a White Sox fan and is angry with how he pitched.
Take an expensive closer and play him as a setup man (second fiddle) — what could go wrong?!
This can only mean one thing – another contract for Jordan Lyles!
I fully expect that to be their pitcher signing.
Nice overview. They have plenty of flexibility and plenty of money. If they sign a handful of FA they will also have some depth to trade from.
With Hearn and Dunning being a solid 3&4 they should go out and get 2 SP. sign 1 and trade for another. 1 “ACE” and one #2-3 type.
Let Otto, Alexy, Winn and others compete for the 5th spot.
Having pitching depth is nice. There will be injuries and underperformance.
Sign one of Story/Correa/Seager/Baez.
Sign 2 of Schwarber/Conforto/Castellanos/Avisail Garcia.
Trade Adolis Garcia + for a SP. Marlins??
Trade IKF/Glen Otto + for a C- Royals MJ Melendez?
Giants Joey Bart?
promote Jung for 3B, let Ibanez have 2B, promote Huff for DH/ back up C, Josh Smith move to CF?
So much speculation and so many possibilities.
Looking forward to this off season.
Why trade for a Catching prospect in Melendez when they already have one in Huff? Plus what do the Royals do with Kiner-Falefa when they have Merrifield/Lopez/Mondesi for 2B/SS and Mondesi/Dozier/Rivera for 3B?
Garcia has had one really good half season and faded in the second half last year so i doubt you would get one of the Marlins starters in return without kicking in another player or two
Huff can catch, but that does not make him a catcher. Long term, he is more of a 1B/DH option.
I’m not sure Huff can hit. Massive holes in swing and what was the the BB to K ratio at AA? 15 to 80? That’s at AA. Unless his approach is completely overhauled, he’s in trouble trying to figure out MLB pitching on a consistent basis.
and KC has B. Witt Jr ..who will be the AL ROY next season
Because Huff is tall as heck. Currently playing 1B. Would be nice to have him as DH and back up catcher.
I said IKF/Glen Otto. If you don’t think they need IKF then go with Otto+. As in more players included with Otto.
Same with Adolis. I said Adolis + as in extra players like you’re asking for.
A team in the Rangers’ position should not be trading away the kind of package it takes to get an “Ace”.
A young controllable pitcher with 4 years left
Sign the Ace
Trade for the 3.50-3.80 era type
100. Ur Ace pitcher should probably be ur last acquisition. Once u have a core of players that are good enough to make the playoffs then u get ur Ace to push u over top
Rangers92 that would be a good way to set the franchise back another 5-7 years. Look into the Astros couple of years before they made the playoffs and learn how to rebuild a team in baseball. You’re welcome.
Good point. That Mike Fiers trade the Astros and Brewers did was absolutely garbage for the Astros.
The Rangers will add a starter or two that they believe they we will be able to flip at the deadline and a few relievers. It will be hard to find a gem as good as Ian Kennedy was for them this past season on a minor league contract but I’m sure they’ll sign a few.
Position player wise, i don’t really know where they will look to add. In theory they could open mext season with Trevino Catching, Lowe at 1B, Solak at 2B, Kiner-Falefa at SS, Ibanez at 3B so maybe OF/DH is where they can look to add
Now just need the Rangers to move back to the previous ballpark which actually looked like a true baseball stadium. Inside and out
TB, OAK have competition now for worst park. Don’t know why they used a Dick’s Sporting Goods as a basis for the design. No free climbing wall either.
Bearded Texas Hulk
@Perksy It nice be out of the heat but OMG that stadium is an ugo!
Shopping List: Conforto or Scwarber for OF, Castellanos or Soler for DH perhaps Avisail Garcia, Story or Baez for SS, E. Rodriquez, C. Rodon, Bundy or Kelly, Woods or Desclafani for innings. Trade A. Garcia, Heim, +1 to Marlins for Mayer, Alcantara, Lopez or Hernandez from Marlins, IKF/Otto/ Pozo to Cubs for Contreras or Pitt for Stallings, Bring Jung up give Taveras one more chance in CF.
22 Line up
Taveras in CF
Ibanez 2B or trade for KIM in SD
Trevino or Contreras/Bart/ Stallings/Melendez
if trade executed
Pitcher acquired in MArlin trade preferably Alcantara
Bench: Huff, Smith, Shaw/Miller
For Love of the Game
While you’re at it, sign Max Scherzer and maybe just trade your bunch of mediocre players (A. Garcia, Heim, IKF, Otto) for Mike Trout!
May as well go all in and sign Scherzer for the rotation and Jansen to close.
@rangers 13, speaking as a rangers fan you’re nuts. lol hope that’s all a joke
Unsure what part you consider to be a joke. Castellanos is the only real long-shot free agent mention. Schwarber and Conforto are both young enough to contribute now and in the future. Desclafani is a good mid-tier 3/30 type pitcher the Rangers covet, Yarbrough will be too expensive for Marlins so he is likely non-tendered. E. Rodriquez is not a Schertzer caliber ace but is only 29 so he can anchor rotation for a few years.. Story is a hometown boy who is young enough to help now and in the future. I like IKF, but given the choice of him or Story would imagine 22-25 GM would choose Story if they had a need there. Marlin trade if it did ever happen would have to include Garcia as the Marlins need CF and offensive firepower. players with slashes are either-or situations. Pitt will move Stallings due to money. Doubtful SF parts with Bart, but KC likely would part with Melendez. Huff is considered C for now but probably profiles better as 1B/DH. Shaw is a journeyman back-up at this point in his career. Cubs will trade Contreras and will need a backup C, controllable SS, and a young P. You would have to send at minimum those three players to acquire Contreras. So other than Marlin trade or Cub trade, not really sure what your complaint is and I have followed Rangers faithfully for 48 years.
Desclafani will get way more than 3/30, even assuming the Giants don’t resign him. He was signed on a show me 6 million contract and he did.
Bearded Texas Hulk
Was that meant to be sarcastic? I cant really se all or hardly any of that happening.
So the Rangers are going to play fantasy baseball this winter and all it will cost $200+ million in free agents and trading the entire farm system just to battle the Angels for fourth place…
The only real long shot in FA mentions would be Castellanos, but Rangers have had an interest in him before, and he is only 30. Story is most likely of FA SS to come to a team still in rebuild since he can come home and Rangers can pay him. Schwarber do to defensive limitations and Conforto due to poor platform year will likely not be that expensive so both fit age and salary-wise for Rangers. E. Rodriquez will be the cheapest of the top 10 SP pitchers and is still young. Desclafani, Woods are both innings eaters at low cost relative to others. Yarbrough, because of RAys salary structure will likely be non-tendered and he is young and inexpensive. Trades mentioned would be longshots, I agree, but to some degree they make sense.
The Rangers have ~$25 million committed next year and like $10 million in 2023. All these players may not want to come here, but they certainly have the payroll flexibility to do it.
Put down the pipe sir. None of those trades make the slightest sense.
Agreed trades are longshots, but stranger things have happened and Pitt will trade Stallings, Marlins do need an OF with power and have a 9-10 deep young rotation, Cubs will likely move Contreras at some point.
Why such interest in a 31-year-old catcher, though? Also, while the Marlins are deep in pitching, they’re sure to explore an extension with Alcantara, and they’ll also convert some of those arms into excellent bullpen pitchers (hopefully Luzardo first). The Marlins have the ability to add bats via free agency while riding these arms. Also, as an aside, Yarbrough pitches for TB.
Garcia & Heim won’t come close to getting ANY of the Marlins pitchers, let alone Alcantra. They’d need to deal Jung to get a pitcher like that.
Hindsight is 20/20 and you missed the parade
Good thing for the Rangers is that they can improve there club at every position on the field. Nobody has a secure spot unless you want to talk Garcia being a 4th OF, Trevino being a backup catcher, or IKF being a UINF (at the worst).
But I do like some of their young SP depth.
I could see them pushing for a SP such as Gray; but they won’t go crazy, nor should they.
You’ll see some bullpen arms added they can flip, and/or maybe a back-end SP type such as Smyly they’ll hope will rebound enough to trade.
Point of correction on your article: John King will be out next year due to injury and Spencer Patton should be a FA.
I foresee Rangers grabbing a solid SS, although they will be outbid on the upper tier, and a guy like a Eddie Rosario for LF. They will overpay for a SP who has a high ceiling, like Carlos Rodon or Jon Gray to be their #1 and wouldn’t be surprised if they brought back Lyles as an innings eater and their #2. Taylor Hearn and Dane Dunning will make the rotation.
My dream pickup? Reunite with Nelson Cruz on a 2 year deal and plug him in as the every day DH in the clean up spot. Lowe, Cruz and Jung in the middle of the order would be a massive improvement for that offense.
Cruz, at his age, is likely stuck in the year-to-year bucket, despite his production. Or is your goal to convince him to return by being the only team to go two years? He likely wants a team that will be in contention, and his choices may be plentiful if the NL adopts the DH.
Exactly. Go to two years with a healthy annual value and appeal to his return to Texas where he was a fan favorite dubbed “Boomstick”.
Spencer Patton will not be a FA until 2026.
King should be ready for spring training.
Patton was signed from Japan and so normal arbitration years do not apply to him. King has already been reported to be out next year due to complications in his injury.
Lots of rebuilding teams with loads and loads of payroll space. Once the CBA is resolved, I wonder if this is gonna turn out to be an excellent year to be a free agent, contrary to expectations. It’s not just the Rangers who can spend. I can think of a half dozen with very low commitments just off the top of my head.
Detroit and Seattle will be shopping, but unknown at what level. Toronto has room to spend. LAA needs pitching as always. NYY and Boston worked hard to stay under the threshold for a reason. Same with Houston.
If you are looking to build a young team, you need strong veteran leadership. I would probably bite the bullet and try to sign Correa long term. He is THE MAN in the Astros clubhouse, and would command respect there. Also, if they are looking to contend in the near future, he would still be there due to the contract.
Isn’t this basically where this franchise was when they signed those three pitchers (Lynn, Minor, Gibson) to short term deals?
Is there any kind of long term plan here?
Lather, rinse, repeat…
Yes, having only 29MM committed is a good thing but I wouldn’t feel the pressure to spend it now.
The Rangers can add Correa, Schwarbs, and Scherzer and still be a 75 win club. It’s just not the time in their rebuild to be aggressive. If there’s someone you consider to be a guy you want to build around —OK, maybe grab a Correa. But you can’t buy a team into contention. They need to draft and develop. Having a top 3 pick again can’t hurt.
Rangers won’t shop in Schertzer territory. One of J.Gray, Desclafani, Yarbrough (if available), Bundy or Matz, is reasonable and relatively cheap, along with one of either Rodon or E.Rodriquez as a 1.
Correa would be great but likely will demand 8-10 yr at 35 million AAV so Story (the hometown boy) is more likely if they go that route and he can help now and later.
Rangers will need to add to OF, so Schwarber, Conforto, should not be that expensive as first choices with Rosario, C.Taylor and Canha reasonable fall back options.
I fully expect Texas to give Matt Carpenter at minor league deal.
If only they replaced Cruz in the ninth in 2011…… oh what could have been.
Yes, that was a big play, however, that was game 6. Still should have played better in game 7.
I keep seeing everyone say they should non-tender Cotton but I’d like to see him back in a rangers uniform next year. While the Rangers do have a lot of money to throw at free agents I’m not entirely sure that we have a lot of appeal to a free agent, especially one who wants to win.
Ibanez doesn’t get enough credit for how he ended the year. He was one of the hottest hitters in the majors to end the year and I’d love to see him get the opportunity to start at second base. Sign a middle infielder and use IKF as a super utility type. Jung should be the starting 3rd basemen come next season.
My prediction for the 22 rangers starting lineup.
1st: Nathaniel Lowe
RF: Avisail Garcia Or Conforto
CF: Adolis Garcia
LF: DJ peters
C: Hiem / Trevino
Bench: Taveras, Ibanez, Eli White, Curtis Terry
SP: Stroman, E. Rod, Dunning, Hearn, Otto/Alexy
RP: Barlow, Patton, Cotton, Martin, Allard/Howard, Sborz, Leclerc, Hernandez
I think once Leclerc and Hernandez are back at 100% we could have one of the best bullpens in the AL. Barlow, Hernandez, and Leclerc are a very solid backend of a bullpen. Allard or Howard works mop up duty. Brett Martin and Patton also very solid options. Cotton and Sborz the first ones DFA’d if a bullpen piece is added.
At the end of the day not a huge upgrade to last years squad but a trend in the right direction.
The only suggestion I would offer is to leave Terry and white in AAA. I would love Stroman but he may not fit in terms of salary or years. Agree on Ibanez getting a chance to continue progress at 2B, which puts IKF as bench UT. I do believe Story comes home.
I think adding Story, Conforto, Stroman and E Rod would definitely be categorized as a huge upgrade to last year’s squad. And I think it’s entirely realistic. However, I’m not sure DJ Peters is going to start over Leody. Leody will start the year in in the starting lineup or in AAA.
Our shopping list for this off-season shouldn’t be that long per se, but it should be chock-full with valuable guys.
The glaring holes on this team are in LF and DH. You might think of 2B, buy Ibanez did really well in his last 40-60 games of the season and I’d like to give him the starting job.
So if Jung, IKF, Ibanez, Lowe, and then some combination of Huff/Trevino/Heim are holding down the fort at C then infield is pretty much set. Need to really focus on the OF.
Looking to the OF we’ve got Taveras, Peters, and Garcia as our in-house OF options next season. Move one of Garcia or Peters to the bench and the other becomes the RF and then go out and sign a LF. Big names could be Conforto or Bryant and then my (preferred) options are Chris Taylor and maybe Jonathan Villar if he can show an ability to play LF (I know it’s been rumored that he can).
I like Taylor and Villar because they’re flexible. If Ibanez doesn’t perform then we can stick Taylor at 2B and Calhoun or Peters in LF full time. We would have more options, and with this plug-and-play rebuilding that’s going on right now, both Taylor and Villar would be good options (if Villar can man LF).
Then for DH it’s simple: I want Schwarber. Castellanos will be very expensive, and I believe we can get similar production out of Scwarber for a cheaper price. He’d slot in at DH so that we don’t see any of his atrocious fielding.
As for pitching, feed me E-Rod and Rodon. We really need to spend on the SP this off-season and both of these guys would provide valuable TORP and MORP arms for the next few years. E-Rod is pitching way better than his ERA would suggest, and Rodon is just plain filthy now with how he’s evolved.
As for finishing touches, the glut of LR that were rotation members in 2021 (Allard, Alexy, Otto) they all move to the pen with the addition of our two starters, and I’d like to sign a few MiLB relievers like we did this past off-season so that we can find another Kennedy or Joely (I know Joely was on an MLB deal). Anthony Gose fits that bill for me perfectly.
And that’s about it, here’s the rotation and lineup:
Taylor, Villar, and Schwarber won’t provide enough added offense. I like the addition of all three, but more offense is going to be needed. I would play Taylor in LF, move Adolis to CF and add Conforto to RF. Coming off a down year I do not think he will cost much. Villar and Solak would be the primary super-utility options and Peters, Taveras, and Calhoun vie for 3rd bench spot. Rotation selections are solid. I think if available, they should consider Yarbrough for this year and perhaps 2/12 for Glasnow to pitch in 23. I would try to add some combination of Velasquez, Urena, Wood as MLB depth in AAA. My hopeful diamond in rough BP wise would be the return of Kela and add Givens or Devenski.
If the goal were to try and compete in 2022 then I’d want more offense, but this is still another rebuilding year. 2023 will be the year we finally open the window once again, but for this year we need to focus on slowly building up to that point. That means filling your deepest holes and leaving the subjective upgrades to later down the road (in this case, 2023). LF and DH are the biggest holes, so fill them. RF has Garcia and Peters who are fine for this season, and then in 2023 we can go sign somebody like Gallo again.
As for your Velasquez, Wood, and Urena thing… that isn’t gonna happen. Wood is gonna get a starting role with the season he’s had, and I expect Urena and Velasquez to finally move to the pen next season because they are both not starters.
You’d be lucky to have a AAA stash of guys like Wade Leblanc, Arial Miranda, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx.
And I don’t hate stashing some bullpen arms on cheap MLB or MiLB deals as you mentioned. Kela wouldn’t be a bad cheap signing I guess, but I haven’t really looked at his stuff in a while. Last I checked I thought he was injured, but I forget how he went down.
I want Tavares to be good so badly. Probably more than any other prospect we have. If he could just figure out things at the plate he has the potential to be a top tier center fielder.
I hate to be a pessimist but I’m not to keen on Howard. I know the upside is there but I am pretty skeptical on his ability tap into it. If Crouse turns into anything of value and Howard preforms at current level the Gibson trade will look really bad.
His production this season may be concerning, but I’ll tell you why it isn’t something to be too worried about moving forward.
This season the Phillies absolutely screwed his development, they didn’t keep him in a consistent setting before moving him to the bullpen or rotation or AAA. He had no time to settle into a role, and that’s why Texas rode him out in the rotation to finish off this season. They just wanted him in a consistent role since we aren’t worried about competing.
And, he was also going out and essentially pitching like he was in ST down the stretch with Texas. He would try to throw a certain pitch some games and a different pitch the next. It was all a feel thing for him.
Next season he’ll go out and pitch deeper into starts while using all his pitches and going at 100% effort. I think we’re in for a big bounce-back from him.
That is still a last place lineup. Maybe not 17 games behind the fourth place team, but 10. To get any FA into laughing stock Arlington, a premium would have to be paid. That’s long term money for a group of middling FA’s who will not get you past a fourth place hump. That’s not the answer. The answer is much longer term and requires a complete overhaul of the organization.
Yep it is
We have heard this line from the Rangers at least the last 4 years. No marquee free agent is going to play in Texas as long as Jon Daniels is there running the show. The guy is a bigger flop artist than BRON BRON.
Why would any top free agent want to play in Texas? The roster is horrible, there aren’t any immediate contributors at AA or AAA outside of Jung, and the ownership/front office is absolute trash. The Dbacks and Obirds were terrible, but they have much better upside than the mess in Arlington. This team will not remotely sniff meaningful September baseball until the franchise is sold and the front office is removed from the building.
Think about this – they’ve had 5 years since they were competitive – and in those 5 years of rebuilding (?) they’ve cobbled together a roster where Folty starts 24 games.
I think the Rangers should trade for bad contracts with prospects attached and sign as many one years as they can for movable players at the deadline.