When a team like the Texas Rangers is caught up in a rebuild, there’s a number of inevitable questions for the front office that may be difficult to answer.
At the top of that list is whether the club is willing to indulge into the free-agency market and spend big in the short term.
General manager Chris Young appears to already have that answer.
“I do expect that we are going to be very active in the next several seasons,” Young said on Bally Sports Southwest during the Rangers’ series-opening against the Seattle Mariners on July 30 when asked about what fans can expect when free agency opens this offseason.
In the aftermath of a busy trade deadline where two of Texas’ 2021 All-Stars were traded in the form of Joey Gallo and Kyle Gibson, Young acknowledged the financial flexibility the team has moving forward.
“We are in very good financial shape,” the club’s general manager said. “We have flexibility, we don’t have much money tied up in the payroll, I think we have a budget that is going to be comparable for our market, and we expect to be very active (in free agency).”
Expect the Texas Rangers to make some moves in free agency this off-season
Of course, this isn’t his money — that goes without saying. But the financial flexibility being referenced to is relevant to the budget that both Young and President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels are responsible for.
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The next two off-seasons in Major League Baseball are expected to feature star-studded talent in the free agency, particularly amongst infielders. Trevor Story, Corey Seager, Javier Baez, and Carlos Correa are all currently not under contract past the 2021 campaign.
“Given that there’s a lot of things that will transpire between now and the end of the season in terms of players signing extensions, it’s hard to predict the free-agent market at this point,” Young said.
Expecting the Rangers to be among the big spenders this winter would likely go against the window of contention and how far the front office really believes the team is from pushing for a playoff spot. Still, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for Texas to be active this off-season, even though the circumstances of the rebuild would suggest otherwise.
Texas Rangers reportedly offered Joey Gallo a contract extension
According to The Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant, the Rangers had offered a contract extension to the team’s right fielder one-week prior to the deal that saw him go to the New York Yankees. The deal reportedly would have been worth $84 million for five years.
Instead, Texas acquired four prospects from the Bronx Bombers for the slugger, after Gallo and agent Scott Boras moved forward without a counteroffer.
The extension proposed to Gallo last month speaks to the financial flexibility the team currently has. And without the benefit of having the former Rangers left-handed hitter on the roster moving forward, the discussion related to how much Texas is willing to spend on free agents in the short term is expected to amplify.