You won’t be forgetting this anytime soon, Texas Rangers fans!
After talking a big game about “no half measures” and “market dollars”, ownership and the front office led by GM Chris Young and President of Baseball Ops Jon Daniels opened up the wallets in a massive way by going on an unprecedented spending spree and plunging into a historically great free agent class.
The total damage? $561 million. $561 million. That’s the most of any team in baseball this off-season, even more than hot-headed Steve Cohen, the billionaire whose Mets just signed Max Scherzer and Starling Marte, among others.
The Texas Rangers racked up a huge free agency bill signing Marcus Semien, Kole Calhoun, Jon Gray and Corey Seager
That’s saying something, because Steve Cohen is, did we mention, a billionaire?
The Texas Rangers first shocked the world by signing 2021 AL MVP finalist Marcus Semien to a seven-year, $175 million contract to give a major boost to a previously dreadful lineup. But that was just the start.
Next came OF Kole Calhoun, a surprise signing, who inked for $5 million on a one-year deal, likely as depth and a good clubhouse presence, things manager Chris Woodward likes in a player. The Rangers were also quite familiar with Calhoun from his time tormenting them as a member of the Angels.
Then, it was Jon Gray time. Texas inked the righty known as “Wolf” to a four-year, $56 million contract to solidify at least one spot in a rotation that previously had little certainty about it. There still is not an ace on this staff, but it’s possible there could be one before it’s all said and done.
But wait, there’s more!
On Monday afternoon, the Rangers finally signed a much anticipated and oft-rumored free agent target: SS Corey Seager, to a lucrative $325 million pact spanning 10 years.
So in the span of 24 hours, Texas signed the (new) best middle infield in baseball (Semien and Seager), addressed a rotation hole (Gray) and added valuable depth (Calhoun). It’s nothing short of an early Christmas miracle.
In total, the Rangers have added roughly $75 million in payroll just from these moves alone, and bringing their total payroll up to $110 million for 2022. And they may not be done yet.
Let’s give credit to Jon Daniels and Chris Young. They kept their word. They followed through. They committed to both a complete teardown and now, a build back up. It was smart of them to pounce on a historically great class even if a year early, knowing that when they would be ready next year, the options wouldn’t be as stellar.
Now whether or not these moves (and any ones on the horizon) amount to a playoff berth in 2022 remains to be seen. In all likelihood, the Texas Rangers are still a year away from legitimate contention, especially when the rest of the AL West has also decided to make substantial upgrades. But the foundation is at least in place, combined with a deep farm system, to serve as insurance (and promise for the future).
This is what the Texas Rangers have been building for. The next era of Arlington baseball has arrived. And we can’t wait for Opening Day 2022!