Per reports, the Texas Rangers are one of just a few teams in the running for Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. They won’t get both, but will they sign one?
For what it’s worth, the Texas Rangers are among the teams trying to land Bryce Harper or Manny Machado. This rumor was initially reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney. Alongside the Rangers, Olney mentioned the Cubs and Twins as teams that could sign either superstar.
Don’t think Texas is competing with only two other teams, however. The Padres and Yankees are said to be in the Machado running, while the Braves, Giants and Astros are in on Harper. Of course, the Phillies, White Sox and Dodgers are still in the mix as well.
As I just named more than one-third of Major League Baseball teams, Harper or Machado to Texas is far from a sure thing.
Among these rumors, the Texas Rangers kind of seem like an afterthought. It’s difficult for them to compete with so many teams that are in “win now” mode. They’re also not quite as far along in their rebuild as the Padres and White Sox are in theirs.
Despite those deterring factors, the Rangers do have plenty to offer to free agents. Namely, a brand-new stadium in 2020, a new coaching staff, a very young core of offensive players, a plethora of promising pitching prospects, and a good amount of spending money.
They may not have much to offer in terms of immediacy, but they have plenty to offer for when the calendar turns to 2020. That’s the time they’ll move into the new ballpark. That’s also the time a number of their top prospects should be emerging onto the big league scene.
Do the Rangers have enough to lure Bryce Harper?
There is no price tag on Harper to this point. Based on murmurs, it seems an offer spanning 7-10 years is ideal for the All-Star and his camp. As for a dollar amount, something between $230 million and $300 million.
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I plead the 5th on this one. Yes, the thought of Bryce Harper suiting up for the Rangers everyday puts a big smile on my face. He is the superstar talent that the team and the fan base desperately need.
Yet, it’s always risky to commit that kind of time and money to one individual, especially an individual who has spent notable time on the DL.
And what happens with the rest of the outfield? Nomar Mazara is 23 years old and Joey Gallo is 25. Both are widely considered as cornerstone players. Harper could definitely step into center field, but how would that effect the Rangers’ plans for #1 prospect, Leody Taveras? Taveras is currently in line to be the club’s next center field sensation.
The Texas Rangers signing Harper would be amazing and confusing at the same time. Ultimately, I don’t see it happening. I’m not exactly going out on a limb by saying that. Maybe his high school friend (Joey Gallo) can persuade him, but Harper seems way to intrigued by Philadelphia at the moment.
Do the Rangers have enough to lure Manny Machado?
Machado fits a legitimate need. The Rangers currently have a hole at third base and they don’t have anyone in the pipeline who they’re laying the red carpet for at that position. Filling the void with arguably the best third baseman in the game would certainly suffice.
A price did leak on Machado; however, there was a bit of an uproar (mainly by Machado’s agent) as to who leaked it and why it was leaked. The supposed offer was at the hands of the White Sox, and it was for 7 years and $175 million.
Surely the Texas Rangers can beat that, though I’d imagine the closing offer will be substantially more.
The problem is Machado seems to be just as enthused by the big markets as Harper. It doesn’t seem likely that a player who’s spent time on the East Coast and West Coast will make his way to Texas.
Fortunately for the Rangers, the market has taken a turn for the worse for Machado. That’s not to say it won’t pick back up, but as of now, the Yankees seem like a long shot and the Phillies seem more geared towards Harper. Suddenly Texas’ chances appear much better if they’re competing with the White Sox, Padres and Twins for the 26-year-old.
At the very least, rumors linking the Texas Rangers to the two biggest names on the market adds some excitement to the offseason. Though, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high. After all, the Rangers have also been linked to J.T. Realmuto, J.A. Happ, Dallas Keuchel, Adam Ottavino, Charlie Morton and Adam Jones this offseason.