The most exciting Rangers offseason in franchise history is coming to a close. Finally, after a grueling four months of being restricted of a lot of offseason content, we’ve been able to soak in Spring Training, and there is clear, definitive proof that the Texas Rangers have fun, new baseball players.
There were a lot of moves this off-season. Some of them were good, some of them were bad, and some of them in the middle. I’m taking a look at the major transactions dealt by Chris Young and Jon Daniels, and how much sense they make heading into the 2022 season and beyond.
Now, take all of this with a grain of salt. The Rangers have not played one regular season game with any of these dudes yet, so we’re simply taking a look at the potential of these moves and whether they make sense as they happen. There might even be more moves before Friday’s Opening Day start – you never know.
Grading the Texas Rangers’ signings and trades ahead of Opening Day
SS Corey Seager and 2B Marcus Semien: A+
What else needs to be said? The Rangers threw the kitchen sink at two of the top-20 players in the league. They now have the best middle infield in the majors.
I wrote a few months ago that Semien and Seager alone dramatically increase the team’s offensive production. I am personally a huge “moneyball” believer – OBP is what will generate you wins. Three of the top six team OBP clubs in 2021 made their respective league championship series. Hate ’em as you might, the Astros have finished in the top 5 in OBP every year since 2017 sans 2020, and it’s gotten them to five straight ALCS appearances.
Seager and Semien alone make the Rangers infinitely more enjoyable to watch and offensively threatening. For the last few years, many of the bright spots of this organization had a catch to them. Andrus and Choo were good, productive veterans, but they were both well past their prime by the time 2020 rolled around. Joey Gallo is an elite plate discipline hitter, but he swings for power and strikes out more than the casual fan can care to enjoy. There’s the Corey Kluber incident. Many fan-favorites including Jose Trevino, Lance Lynn, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and many more have been dealt to improve the direction of the ballclub.
Tanking sucks. Losing sucks. Being the worst offense in the league REALLY sucks. But Corey Seager and Marcus Semien are two extremely versatile hitters with leadership mentalities and plenty of baseball ahead of them in their careers. The former was a World Series MVP and Champion as recently as 2020. The latter *literally* had the best hitting season for a second baseman EVER last year. The Rangers are tired of being a rollover franchise and this was the first of many moves to get out of that rut.