The Rangers hosted longtime Rockies shortstop (and Dallas-area native) Trevor Story on Tuesday, per a report from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. While virtually every team with money to spend and a need up the middle is likely to at least the kick the tires on Story, the report of an in-person meeting suggests the Rangers may be looking to move early in the scramble for a historic class of high-end shortstops (a list that also includes Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Javier Baez).
Given their stated intention to be aggressive in free agency and their clear need at short, the Rangers are sure to at least check in with other free agent shortstops, but there’s more to recommend Story than his status as native son. MLBTR’s eighth-ranked free agent, Story didn’t have the strongest platform year (.251/.329/.471 in 595 plate appearances), but his career line of .272/.340/.523 stands out at the premium position of shortstop — particularly given Story’s top-notch glovework (69 DRS across six seasons).
Of course, it’s always worth caveating the offensive numbers of any player who’s played half his games a mile above sea level, and Story’s home-road splits are substantial. His career OPS at Coors Field (.972) tells a very different story than his OPS on the road (.752). Story’s OPS+ numbers — 103 in 2021, 112 for his career — adjust for park factors and may give a clearer picture of what teams ought to expect from him at the plate moving forward. He’s also entering his age-29 season (not to mention coming off an elbow injury that sapped his power for much of 2021), so he’s a solid bet to see at least some decline over the course of a long-term deal.
The Rangers have needs all over the diamond, and finding a place for Story would hardly be a challenge. While incumbent Isiah Kiner-Falefa put together a solid season overall (particularly with the glove), neither Brock Holt nor Charlie Culberson (the Ranger’s primary third basemen in 2021, both of whom are free agents) are likely to feature in the club’s long-term (or, frankly, short-term) plans, and it isn’t clear that they view Andy Ibañez or Nick Solak as the long-term solution at second.
Because Story declined a qualifying offer, the team that signs him will have to forfeit a draft pick. As the Rangers neither paid the luxury tax nor received revenue-sharing payments in 2021, the two-time all-star would cost the club its second-highest 2022 draft pick (currently the third pick of the second round) and $500K in international bonus pool money (here is an MLBTR primer on how compensation works). MLBTR predicts he’ll get a six-year, $126MM deal and lists the Rangers as a likely suitor, though they’re hardly alone. Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reported Tuesday that at least eight teams have checked in with Story’s representatives.
The Baseball Fan (Doesn’t like the Cubs)
Rangers might be a contender next year if their off-season goes as planned. Would like to see a Rangers Mariners rivalry
If by contending you mean avoiding a losing record, then yes I could see that as a possibility
Chipper Jones' illegitimate kid
Unless they plan on signing half their 2022 roster this offseason, I doubt they’re contenders next year. Story could be a good block to build the foundation around if they could grab him. Wonder if he wants to risk being stuck in a rebuild for the last of his prime years.
I think Story’s agent is smart enough to know that he’s a league average player outside of Colorado and that he should just take the biggest deal he can get.
Just like when they traded for Corey Kluber. If the Rangers can sign one of the “big 5 SS” and then a solid #3 pitcher. Maybe Stroman or Gausman. Selfishly I’m hoping the cubs somehow get Gausman or DeSclafani.
I had the Cubs signing Alex Wood in the contest. I think that would be a sneaky good pickup though he is pretty injury prone.
I think he’d be a good pick up. I know they want to go young but a reunion with rich hill would be cool. Maybe even become an assistant pitching coach.
The Baseball Fan (Doesn’t like the Cubs)
Now, I could most certainly be wrong. Just an idea that if everything went perfectly, Rangers could be good as soon as next year
I’m as big of a Ranger fan as one can be. But the Rangers have a minuscule chance of being contenders next year. We have one legit starter, in Dunning. One above average infielder in IFK. One above average OF. In order to even sniff .500 we need to sign two high caliber starters. At least one infielder & and OF. Even then we’re a third place team in the division. Now when Jung and some of the young pitchers come up in 2023, the team would absolutely be exciting with the right veterans around them. But even in 2023 it will be the first full season for a lot of players. 2024 seems the most realistic target. Few teams can go from one of the worst 3 teams in baseball to a contender in one year. Out minor league system is getting better but still not quite there.
The Rangers literally have no one valuable. Better off tanking the next 5 years and save money. They really dont have one redeeming player on the whole roster with the execption of maybe Adolis Garcia. They really need a whole work around
1B-Nate Lowe had a decent rookie year. He should build off of that and start producing a little more in the slugging dept. no reason he shouldn’t improve.
Josh Jung should come on strong at 3B.
Andy Ibanez looks promising at 2B.
Adolis looks good in RF.
They do have a few holes. No doubt. But if they sign 2-3 bats and trade IKF, Solak, Calhoun etc for one other bat they can put together a very competitive offense.
Foscue, Josh Smith, Sam Huff and Duran are doing well and due soon.
On the pitching side. They could sign 1 major SP and 1 motr type and be competitive with Dunning, Hearn, Alexy, Otto.. not to mention Cole Winn and others.
Sign 3 bats, 2 pitchers and trade for another bat.
That’s not an “insane” amount of moves, doesn’t seem impossible. They have a $36 million payroll in a $150 payroll type market. They have a ton of talent on their way up from the minors and they have a ton of decent depth they can package together for more direct players.
I think they will be good next year
I am a homer though
That’s a terrible roster. Across the state there’s Gurriel, Tucker, Bregman, Alvarez, Altuve, Brantley, and more. And btw theyre in your division. Punt for a few seasons and build a winner around Leiter and all of those younger prospects
It won’t be a terrible roster if they sign 3 big bats and trade for 1. Then see the expected improvements from Ibanez and Lowe to go with Adolis Garcia and top prospect Josh Jung.
They’re line up last year was very bad. Their current roster is kinda bad. There’s only 9 spots that need to be good. Lowe, Jung, Ibanez and Adolis account for 4. The other 4 (3 FA and 1 trade) to go along with our catchers wouldn’t be too bad.
They have the money and the holes.
You forgot to mention the trash can.
So you’re saying they won’t be terrible if they replace like 50% of last year’s lineup with better players?
Man I hate that the way fans and teams alike are okay with punting these days…
That kind of thinking leads to bad baseball being played daily by a lot of teams. I’m not usually one for tons of weird rules, but I wish all teams 19-30 record wise would go into a lottery with the exact same odds. You shouldn’t be rewarded for purposely putting out a AAAA team.
Still better that the bucs roster by far
Disagree. Never watched a more disinterested team than watching the 2021 Rangers. Didn’t hit, didn’t put together good ABs, looking aloof in the field, sloppy defense, looking around the stands while in the dugout, etc. And that’s one year removed from a team ‘trying to win’. It boggles the mind.
I’d say our “above average” and potentially above-average guys are Lowe, Taveras, IKF, Dunning, Howard, Jung, most of our bullpen (when healthy), and Calhoun and Huff if they get healthy.
I think the influences of our new hitting coaches will help tremendously, and I expect the 3-4 good-great FAs we sign this off-season to push us into the realm of 80-ish wins.
Calhoun is slow, bad defensively and has had an OPS+ over 90 1 year so far, in half a season. I get he hasn’t been healthy, but at no point has he been good.
We needed to trade that guy the off-season we got him.
we actually have so many young arms right now that I can’t keep track if them all. Owen White is quietly coming on strong too
You are an idiot the rangers have a no 7 or 8 minor league system a top 3 pick .they will be good long before Mets are.
Tanking for 5 years? That’s absurd. Team can turn around their fortunes in 2-3 years, and a 5-year tank would really cut into their fanbase.
Not worth that high of a pick for him.
At this point in the rebuild, I agree with you. Picks are like mana to teams like Texas and Washington.
When you just lost 102 games with a -190 run diff, you ain’t close to contending. Story would be a nice addition, but even if he could reproduce the WAR numbers from his 2018-19 peak, he wouldn’t move the needle much for the Rangers. A staff ERA of 4.79 won’t cut it no matter who’s playing short.
This is a long-term project, folks. But I guess you gotta start somewhere.
They will not be rolling out Kolby Allard, Jordan Lyles and Folty every 5th day like they did last year. They’re not counting on Culberson, Holt and waiver claims like DJ Peters and Martin either.
The Rangers will definitely be a much better ball club next year.
Believe it or not, Culberson was one of the more valuable Rangers last year. Eighth on the team in bWAR. Which should tell you all you need to know about the Rangers’ chances of contending any time soon.
By the way, three of the guys ahead of Culberson on the Rangers 2021 bWAR list – Gallo, Gibson and Kennedy – are gone. So just who is going to lead this great rebound next year? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rangers improve some in 2022. It’s hard to get worse when you’re 60-102 with a run diff that looks like the Grand Canyon.
But any hopes of a quick turnaround are wildly faith-based. The team played in a pitcher’s park and put up a staff ERA pushing five. The lineup has more holes than the Albert Hall. Even if they get peak Story, it’s not going to make that much difference.
If the Rangers were about a .500 team with a pretty even run diff, Story (at his peak) and a fair dose of luck might give them a sniff in the wild card hunt. But let’s be serious about what the team can accomplish in the short run.
They’re not going to be rolling out guys like Folty, Lyles and Allard next year. They made almost half the teams starts and they were terrible.
The season was a throw away. Especially after the 2nd half.
They’re going to be much better next year.
It’s nice to have hope but much better seems unlikely. With the angels and mariners looking to improve and the A’s always seeming to put it tougher and Houston running the division that’s a lot of division losses for the rangers
The Rangers play in the Dallas area, one of the largest markets in the country. I’m the past, teams have signed players long-term when they are bad to signal their intentions for improvement – Ivan Rodriguez in Detroit, Jason Werth in Washington, as two examples. Improvement has to start somewhere, and bringing in a very good shortstop would be a reasonable place to start.
I love articles with titles like this one, always makes me think of the great ’50s and ’60s jazz albums with titles like “Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster,” or “Stan Getz Meets Oscar Peterson.” Some great old cool jazz right there.
Bless you, stevewpants!
Please go get Marcus Semien… He might be older than all of these other guys, but I see Beltre part 2 in him if he just signs. So underrated.
He doesn’t fit the Rangers timeline of contention. Add to that he prefers playing on the West Coast as well as teams like Seattle and SF that are ready to win NOW, and Semien makes the least amount of sense for the Rangers in terms of free agents.
“Trevor Story meets with Rangers”
He grew up a rangers fan and lives 15 minutes from globe life field.why not.
I would hardly imagine that he remains a Ranger fan – and you would expect him to ride out his glory years mired in losing, when he may well have his pick of better situated clubs?
He was a ranger fan growing he said he went the ballpark all the time growing up including world series games.
The rangers have a top 7 minor league system plus by way when is the last time Phillies did anything in playoffs or world series.well I’m waiting.
2008, not that you asked me. The Rangers’ greatest run of success was right after that.
For all we know, we could have a Rangers-Phillies World Series matchup in 2024.
Pretty sure the Phillies won the 2008 World Series snd lost in six to the Yankees 2009
Imo Story could be the best value pick for a win-now team. A one year deal at around 20-25M. I don’t see why the Astros or Phillies wouldn’t do that. If Story’s market demands a multi year deal though, different Story….
No pun intended
No Soup For Yu!
Of course Story’s market demands a multi-year deal. If he wanted a one year deal, he’d have just taken the qualifying offer to test free agency next year without draft compensation attached. A team renting him for one year is also giving up a draft pick and they will almost surely lose him for nothing next offseason. It’s less Story demanding a multi-year deal and more the teams, and I see no scenario he signs for less than 4 years.
He seemed fed up with Colorado, and a few things to note
SS market is stacked this year
Story struggled with a finger injury and put up mediocre numbers last year
If he puts up a season on par of 2019 this next year, he will get paid much more than what he’ll probably be offered this offseason
I feel like every year Ranger fans say they could be good if they add a few guys but they have one of the most boring and least talented rosters
No Soup For Yu!
Out of the big 5 free agent shortstops, Story has got to be the least exciting one with those home/road splits, the recent injury, and the down year at the plate, and yet also the most likely to sign with Texas because he’ll be the cheapest major SS and because of his Texas connections. Either go big and try to sign Correa or Semien, or just accept that no superstar wants to play for next year’s AL West cellar dweller and sign a Jonathan Villar-type shortstop so you can at least put some respectable players on the field that could even be flipped at the deadline to aid the rebuild.
Story’s games-played totals the last five years:
That’s pretty darned durable. And despite injury issues in 2021, he found a way to stay in the lineup (and it’s not a negative if he did so in an attempt to maintain his FA value). He is not some kind of bad player who’s always hurt.
They should sign Seager but then they’ll need someone to play the other half of the season.
Seager’s health problems are exaggerated on this forum. He missed most of the 2018 season due to the surgery. This past season, he missed 67 games after suffering a fractured fifth metacarpal in his right hand when hit by a pitch. That kind of injury can happen to any player.
Games played in his other four years: 157, 145, and 134, and then 52 during 2020’s 60-game season. Of his missed games, many are due to the Dodgers’ penchant for resting players because of their depth. To say he’s always hurt is flat-out false.
They should sign both the Seager Boys. Kyle mashes in Texas!
He’s a better player than a lot of people on here care to admit. However, the Rangers would be a poor fit for his services. That team is several years away from contending, and no amount of free-agent spending is likely to change that. A team should build its foundation before even thinking about this type of investment. Also, you’d have to think Story wants to go to a team with a chance to win after these last couple of years.
Story is a phenomenal player. And didn’t we say the Giants were years away from contending?
They were. The Giants had four straight losing seasons before 2021 and were better than the Rangers are now when that stretch began. Compare the 2021 Rangers’ roster to the 98-loss Giants from 2017. It’s not close in terms of overall talent. In my opinion, the Rangers have lots of work to do before plunging headlong into the free-agent market.
The Giants actually ran a slightly plus run diff in the 60-game 2020 season, while the Rangers were at -88. Very quietly the Giants were improving while the Rangers were, well, stinking. And the Rangers stunk even worse in 2021.
As I said above, if the Rangers were about a breakeven club, getting Story at his peak and catching some luck might make a big difference. But no one player can make a huge difference for the current team.
If anything, the Rangers have got to fix the staff first. They leaked a ridiculous number of runs in a pitcher’s park. I would prioritize pitching over any position player.
@CaseyAbell, we just saw how the Giants did it. Incremental improvement. Remember how awful their outfield was a few years ago. Zaidi kept bringing in guys and they gradually got better. Now, they have a bunch of guys with enough range to play centerfield, which is great for their ballpark. And while it’s not likely they’ll win 107 games again, they are not going to fall off the face of the globe as some people think. They’ll find ways to compensate for some of the production they might lose over the winter. It’s a model some of these teams might want to consider.
Impossible to understand why Colorado did not trade him, now get a pick, they gave their two best players away in less than 6 months shameful.
It’s conceivable he was hurt and would have failed the physical if they tried to trade him. In all likelihood, other teams probably knew something wasn’t right with him. Why would the Rockies put themselves through such an embarrassment if that was the case?
They obviously weren’t offered a package better than the 31st pick in the draft, which is entirely possible.
If we are giving up that high of a pick and international bonus money we need to aim higher than Story for sure. Bring the Seager brothers this way
Why would they sign Kyle Seager? they have one of the better 3B prospects headed to Texas in 2022, don’t block him.
Can probably get him on a short deal and Jung has only played 33 games at AAA . Absolutely zero reason to rush him we arent going to be going places next year
Jung might not break camp as the 3B in Arlington, but he will be up in May if he hits over that first month. You might sign Culberson to play in April but that’s it. I would be pretty shocked if Seager took that kind of a deal.
No way in God’s Green Earth would I sign Story. Once he puts pen to paper his numbers are going to drop precipitously. Not to mention the obvious splits from Coors to everywhere else baseball is played. I can see him getting his pay day and becoming the 2021 Francisco Lindor. You just cannot give someone that much money/years when they consistently have not hit away from Colorado.
I’m curious, do you know what Story’s OPS+ on the road is?
I don’t know the OPs+, but OPS is .742 I believe? So right around OPs+ of 100.
I don’t know if any of you guys listen to Jomboy media, but they have made some good points about how hard it must be to hit on the road when you’re so used to seeing flatter pitches for half your games.
I would expect the away from Coors OPs to go up a decent amount if he were always hitting away from Coors.
That’s pretty much the direction I’m going. He was injured in 2021, so going from the three previous years, I estimate his road OPS+ to be 109, 104, and 109.
As you and others have said, these road numbers tend to go up since there is no longer an adjustment period. IMO, a more fair estimate of the home/away splits would be to look at the pitchers, since there is no adjustment period.
The difference on pitching, from 2018-2020, was a loss of 87 OPS points. If Story lost 87 OPS points, he’d still be at .822, which is about what I’d expect, and which is still very good for a GG-caliber SS.
And from my perspective, no, I don’t think he is as good as Correa, but I’d much rather have Story at $126M/6 than Correa at $300/10.
And I wouldn’t think twice about it.
.752 career OPS away from Coors
.717 2021 OPS away from Coors
Please, sign him, Daniels.
Trying to assess a player on a bad 3 months, likely injury-related, might not be the best way to judge him.
I will be very interested to see what he can w/o Coors Field. I’m guessing .265 21HR .780OPS
Okay – as a Rockies fan, and die-hard Trevor Story fan; I find it interesting to read everyone’s opinions of Coors Field. You see the consistent trend we all see in MLB baseball is the number of players leaving Coors Field who out-perform YOUR unustantiated predictions.
If you all look at Trevor’s road POWER numbers you’ll notice his HR totals
That shows me his power plays anywhere he goes. Yes, his road splits were extreme. He also played in the NL West where three of Major League Baseball’s top 6 Pitcher Friendly parks exist.
So, imagine going from two of the leagues most hitter friendly parks exist to a road trip where three of the league most extreme pitcher friendly parks exist.
Kinda feel like Story is prime to fall off the map skills wise…hasn’t been trending well plus Coor’s impact….hope rangers give him 350 for 10 years…..lol. Rangers