Texas Rangers: Is an aggressive free agency approach a must?
By Kenneth Nash
Looking ahead to the free agency period, is an aggressive approach mandatory for the Texas Rangers this year?
While many baseball fans and those in the game have their attention turned to the MLB Postseason, the Texas Rangers brass should be looking heavily towards the free agent class. The 2020 class is loaded with impact players like Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner, Anthony Rendon and Josh Donaldson. Texas can instantly boost their status as a competitive team with some shrewd business this winter. But while the Rangers have hit some home runs the past couple of offseasons in Mike Minor and Lance Lynn, they’ve been fairly conservative. Is this offseason the one to change that philosophy and be aggressive?
When looking at the Rangers expected roster heading into next season, there are a handful of players that we can expect to be “locks” with no chance they won’t be in Arlington to start 2020. As of right now, that group is comprised of…
SS Elvis Andrus
OF Willie Calhoun
UTL Nick Solak
OF Joey Gallo
LHP Mike Minor
RHP Lance Lynn
RHP Jose Leclerc
RHP Emmanuel Clase
Obviously there’s another group of players that we can consider highly likely to be in Arlington. Players like Mazara, Odor, Choo, Palumbo, Kiner-Falefa, etc. However that group above I’m confident will be considered starting players/high leverage relievers to begin the next campaign.
That group encompasses the top two starters in your rotation, two late inning relievers, two outfielders, a shortstop and a DH/INF in Solak. That leaves a lot of positions up in the air. It also leaves a lot of room to chase new guys in free agency. All those guys are also on fairly favorable contracts meaning that long-term, Texas has a bit of money to spend.
An aggressive approach chasing some of the best available free agents would be a diversion from the norm of late but looking at that group above, Texas has a lot of positions with room for improvement and a core young enough to build around long-term. I think the Rangers may struggle to reel in these top tier guys, but I expect Texas to be fairly aggressive in their approach as they try to build a new era of Rangers’ baseball heading into Globe Life Field.