At this year’s trade deadline, an active one to say the least, the Texas Rangers were firm sellers, dealing away the likes of Joey Gallo, Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy to the Yankees and Phillies, respectively.
Those deals have helped speed up a full scale rebuild that has officially kicked into gear as evidenced by the team’s lackluster on-field performance and strengthening farm system.
But could the tide be turning come this off-season? Have things really progressed that quickly for the Texas Rangers organization?
According to manager Chris Woodward via independent beat reporter Jeff Wilson, fans can expect payroll to increase in 2022.
"“There’s a lot to be excited for as we move forward, especially next year,” Woodward said. “We’re, obviously, going to have a higher payroll and add a lot of pieces, and then you have these younger guys coming up at the same time.”"
The Texas Rangers could have an upgraded roster for the 2022 season
Wilson also mentioned in his newsletter that President of Baseball Operations Jon Daniels echoed these sentiments around the trade deadline as well, reportedly quipping that the team will have the payroll to be competitive when it comes to the market for top-tier free agents.
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With a payroll under $100 million in 2021, it stands to reason that the Rangers will have more than an adequate amount of space to work with in the short term, with most of their financial obligations tied to eating salaries of traded players like Gallo, Khris Davis and Rougned Odor.
Once those obligations come off the books, that will free up even more payroll flexibility. It’s great timing for Texas, as this year’s free agent class is expected to be strong for position players. It’s most notably strong at shortstop, where Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, Corey Seager, Trevor Story and Marcus Semien are expected to be available. Kris Bryant and Starling Marte are two other highly rated players expected to hit the open market this off-season.
Even on the pitching front, Kevin Gausman, Max Scherzer, Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard and Jon Gray are among the names the Rangers could look at this off-season.
While no concrete budget has been finalized, it’s clear that the Texas Rangers are looking to improve their on-field product in 2022, as they also get set to promote the first wave of prospects from this rebuild.
Strap in folks, things could be getting exciting in Arlington pretty soon!