Did the Texas Rangers’ 40-man roster crunch reveal their off-season strategy?

Tough decisions were made Friday as the Texas Rangers and the other 29 MLB clubs had to lock in their 40-man rosters ahead of a deadline that sets up the Rule V draft.

As a result of the crunch, the Rangers left prospects Steele Walker, Bubba Thompson, Jake Latz and Cole Ragans unprotected, but decided to add highly touted talents Ricky Vanasco, AFL star Ezequiel Duran and pitcher Ronny Henriquez to the roster. Those moves left Texas’ active roster at 37, with three open slots.

Three open slots, you say?

Could this be an indication of what’s to come for the Texas Rangers this winter? Have they, in essence, revealed their off-season plans? You can look at it that way, for sure.

The Texas Rangers’ free agency plans might have come into focus after Friday’s 40-man roster freeze

We’ve heard tons of talk about the Rangers looking to spend money on premier free agents this winter, and it’s true that the market has moved fast to this point. Pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Justin Verlander and Andrew Heaney have already inked deals, with more expected to beat the expiration of the CBA and anticipated lockout on December 1.

And with Texas’ newly-created roster space, it’s quite possible the team intends to sign three free agents. What would those spots be vacant for otherwise?

There has been plenty of speculation as to who the Rangers could target, from Seiya Suzuki and Starling Marte to Marcus Semien, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Carlos Correa and Clayton Kershaw. All of those names would represent massive upgrades to a roster with needs all over the diamond.

If Texas were to land three of those names, we could consider that to be a successful off-season!

The intention seems to be adding external help, in any event, because otherwise those three open roster spots could’ve been used to protect other Rule V-eligible talents within the organization.

Now it’s just a matter of waiting and seeing.