As the winter rolls on, the chances of the Texas Rangers re-signing hitters Mike Napoli and Carlos Gomez decreases. Will losing those sluggers create a hole in the middle of the Rangers lineup?
The Texas Rangers main focus this off-season has been addresses the pitching situation. Although, Texas lost two important sluggers over the winter, but the front office did nothing to replace them.
In fact, it looks like the Rangers intend on replacing Mike Napoli and Carlos Gomez internally. Texas is expected to continue adding depth, but not All-Star caliber players. Will the Rangers regret letting Napoli and Gomez walk into free agency?
Last season, Napoli hit .193 with 29 home runs and 66 RBIs in 124 games. He spent time most of his time at first base, but filled in at DH as well. Slugger Joey Gallo is expected to take over as the starter at first base in 2018.
The Rangers could have multiple players rotate at DH, but outfielder Shin-Soo Choo will likely see the most time there. Letting Napoli walk as actually a great move by the organization. It allows the Rangers to be flexible at DH, and let Gallo play first base every day.
More from Nolan Writin'
- Framework for a potential Max Fried trade to the Texas Rangers
- Early 2023 MLB mock draft has Texas Rangers selecting an Ohtani-lite
- 3 Texas Rangers outfield trade targets not named Bryan Reynolds
- Did Jacob deGrom really mean what he said at his Texas Rangers press conference?
- Where do Texas Rangers prospects Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker stand after the DeGrom signing?
The 36-year-old slugger did not have much value on the Rangers roster anymore. Texas wants to focus on their younger core and Napoli was a glorified all-or-nothing player. He was incredible in the clubhouse, but unnecessary in the lineup.
Deciding to not re-sign Gomez shows the Rangers have faith in Delino DeShields. He hit .269 with six homers, 22 RBIs, and 29 stolen bases in 2017. The 25-year-old is expected to begin the season as the starter in center.
Lefty slugger Nomar Mazara will see most of his time in right field. The Rangers still haven’t decided on a left fielder, but youngster Willie Calhoun makes the most sense. He played well during his brief stint in 2017, and is expected to be the future in left field.
Keeping the 32-year-old Gomez would’ve hurt the Rangers future. Texas wants to go younger and believes in the development of these hitters. Gomez likely would command a three or four year deal, which would create a logjam in the outfield.
The decision to let Napoli and Gomez walk was an incredibly smart move. It shows the Rangers have faith in their youth, and the organization believes the players are ready to take the next step. The future is bright in Arlington, and the 2018 season is just around the corner.