I don’t know, but if the Texas Rangers‘ front office is looking to restore credibility to its fanbase this winter, they better plan on putting their money where their mouth is.
Whatever ‘market dollars’ does actually translate to, though, it sounds promising. A lot more promising than off-season strategies of the recent past.
Here’s the quote from Daniels at the season-ending press conference Wednesday:
"“Ownership is recommitted recently to support us financially, to pay market dollars,” Daniels said. “We’re not in the postseason, obviously. We haven’t been now for five years. We don’t have that advantage. We’re not on TV tonight. We understand this isn’t a situation where we’re looking for discounts. We’re going to have to pay market dollars in order to get top players and we’re prepared to do so.”"
Expect the Texas Rangers to spend ‘market dollars’ this off-season as they attempt to re-load a barren roster from 2021
You’re allowed to have your skepticisms and reservations about the front office. After all, they didn’t exactly put out a respectable product in 2021, and it showed in the win-loss column this season at 60-102. Of course, there’s a full-scale rebuild going on as well.
But even beyond that, the Rangers haven’t landed a marquee free agent in years. Not since Beltre or Choo or Darvish, at least. So why would things be different this off-season?
Because the time is right.
‘Market Dollars’ will be as valuable as they’ll ever be this winter, as a loaded free agent class led by all the shortstops (Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Javier Baez and Trevor Story) as well as players like Kris Bryant and Michael Conforto. Did we also mention pitchers like Max Scherzer, Noah Syndergaard, Clayton Kershaw, Marcus Stroman and Kevin Gausman will also be available? For one free agent class, this is about as stacked as it gets.
The time is now for the Texas Rangers to spend, and both Jon Daniels and Chris Young seem to understand this.
It’s not just about spending money, however. It’s also about making sure there is a stable of core minor league players that the Rangers can rely upon for long-term production and to supplement the big league spending. And the organization is well on their way towards having that, with a burgeoning farm system that made massive strides in 2021 led by Josh Jung, Cole Winn and the drafting of Jack Leiter this summer.
Another high draft pick in 2022 (third overall) will only strengthen this farm system more.
Of course, it’ll be hard to convince free agents that they should take Texas’ ‘market dollars’ when the team still isn’t that close to winning. But the plan is theoretically in place. It’s just about executing it. That’s easier said than done, though.