While the off season has been hard to call a success, considering our goals, it was not a failure either. I have read a lot of national speculation that the Rangers are not going to be back until 2014, I think we are going to field a competitive team in 2013. I know no one will pick us as favorites to win and to tell the truth that is awesome. I don’t know that our collapse in September was because of that pressure, but you can be sure it played at least a small role. The Angels carry an anvil with money signs on it around their necks this season. Even more so since last season. The A’s? Lightning in a bottle twice? The pitching is their but the gods all aligned for the bats to work when they did.
Why do I have a good feeling about this season? Ron Washington. He takes a bunch of moving parts and makes them a family focused on one thing. Winning. Sure he has a couple of bad habits he might need to adjust a little. One of them is his insistence on playing veterans over youngsters. He should split the difference and give them more playing time than he did down the stretch for sure.
While we play to win this season, we are keeping an eye on the future and I have a hunch that while we would love to have one more bat, the front office has gone all in on the philosophy that pitching wins championships. I think that is why we haven’t made a move on Justin Upton. I think we are holding the big pieces for a trade in order to land a first rate, front of the rotation pitchers. David Price tops the list. Where we may have hesitated moving Jurickson Profar and/or Mike Olt, it becomes almost a no-brainer at that point.
As far as money goes? One article I read accused the Rangers of now being tightwads and I may have insinuated as much once. I don’t believe that is the case. We had a light class of free agents this year and some big names might be available for trade mid-year or winter ’13. We aren’t pinching pennies. We all know we have the money. We have put it away. By all accounts we were willing to give one of those contracts to Zack Greinke.
While I totally agree with Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan playing their cards close to the vest, when the team hits the field to start the season against the Astros, let’s hope they can continue to do that and that the team won’t show their hand during the season.