Texas Rangers: Why Won’t Jon Daniels Go “All-In” This Offseason?
By Kenneth Nash
While the Texas Rangers are looking to be competitive next season, Jon Daniels is blunt with the fact that they won’t be going all-in this offseason.
Last Tuesday, Jon Daniels laid out some of the plans and expectations for the Texas Rangers heading into the long offseason. After a dismal 67-96 season, many fans were hoping that Texas would jumpstart their rebuild by making a somewhat notable splash in the free agent market this year. Nobody was expecting the Rangers to be going after free agent class headliners like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. However, many, myself included, hoped we’d see the Rangers go after starting pitching in a top heavy class.
Our hopes though may not be realized over the next few months. It seems Daniels has his sights set on value starting pitching options similar to what Mike Minor brought to the rotation this past season. While Minor was a good rotational mainstay for Texas this season, it’s a bit of a scary thought of him headlining the Texas Rangers starting pitchers in 2019. It seemed this may be a great year for the Rangers to go after some starters with names like Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel hitting the market, so why aren’t the Rangers seemingly interested?
Daniels Has Eyes On 2020
As you know, the Texas Rangers are set to open up their new ballpark at the beginning of the 2020 season. This new stadium seemingly perfectly coincides with the new era of baseball in Arlington. With that, the front office is leaning towards using 2019 as an evaluation year where we can find out who fits into the long-term future of organization and who doesn’t. Daniels noted that the team hopes to be competitive in 2019 and will evaluate their standing mid-season.
If the Rangers miraculously are a much improved team come mid-July, I wouldn’t be shocked for them to be active in making acquisitions. However it likely will be players on multi-year deals who can be a part of the future in Texas. Conversely, we also could see another “sale” in Arlington that could see names like Jose Leclerc, Nomar Mazara and Mike Minor departing the club in an effort to bring in a haul of prospects.
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A Financial Commitment Is Risky This Year
While there are some notable starting pitching targets available in free agency this offseason, there’s arguably a deeper class next offseason. Players like Shelby Miller, Gerrit Cole and Madison Bumgarner as well as Rick Porcello and Chris Sale. With the Rangers feeling like they’re multiple pieces away from being a legit competitor and with the Rangers top farm system arms still a few years away, it’s not shocking that Jon Daniels might not want to make any substantial financial commitments at this point. The starters available this winter who could make an impact are all looking for multi-year deals and will be pushing $20 million a year.
Additionally, with a number of Rangers players due for arbitration this year including Nomar Mazara and Jurickson Profar, not making any big commitments this year allows Texas to hand out any extensions they feel are needed and then build from there.
Do you think the Rangers should be aggressive in this offseason’s free agent market? Let us know in the comments below.