As the Texas Rangers continue on their offseason plans, are we seeing a shift in strategy by Jon Daniels and the front office?
If there is one department that the Texas Rangers have really struggled in during the Jon Daniels era, it has been player development. They have really struggled with developing most of their players, regardless of what their expectations are.
Only a handful of the players that will be on the Rangers Opening Day roster in 2020 will have actually been draft club picks. For a team that has missed the playoffs in four of the last six years and has recently been rebuilding, that isn’t a great success rate.
That being said, Jon Daniels may be onto a new method of team-building that is unlike one that teams opt for frequently. Typically when a team trades for a superstar and they have to pay big for him, it is when the team is acquiring a player for their World Series push that has yet to reach their big payday. It seems as if Jon Daniels may be working on a new narrative in order to open the third playoff window for the Texas Rangers in his career.
What Daniels may be trying to do would be a new form of moneyball. Going into the off-season, Daniels knew that the Texas Rangers were somewhat close to being a playoff contender, and that with a few pieces they would be well on their way to being one.
Rumors have been swirling around about what his next move may be, and lots of them have been circling back around to Nolan Arenado. Arenado just signed a big extension with the Colorado Rockies last off-season, and would likely cost two of the Rangers top five prospects to even open the door to trade talks. That’s where the earlier discussion about the issues that the Texas Rangers have had with developing players comes into play. Daniels can acquire top-level talent from teams that are looking to shed salary, and want to rebuild/retool at a cheaper rate.
The Texas Rangers could acquire Arenado, and have him, potentially, for the next seven seasons, rather than have to wait on two low-level prospects that have loads of potential to develop, and risk a Mike Olt situation with them (something that’s quite common).
To get teams to answer the phone, Texas can’t go into talks by lowballing them. For an Arenado trade, they need to call and immediately offer Cole Winn and Sam Huff to get the ball rolling. They would likely have to throw in a lesser prospect or two, and maybe even a MLB level player.
What Could The Deal Be?
Other players that the Texas Rangers could look at could be Kris Bryant, but I would hope they would make a deal for him contingent on if they can reach an extension with Bryant to make the deal happen. Another player they can look into acquiring would be Evan Longoria as well. This method is a risky one because it can thin out your young depth quickly, however, for a club that has struggled to develop superstar talent, maybe going the route of trying to acquire that talent is the best course.