Number 4: All of the Free Agents signed after Arod
This is going to be quite the list, but after the Rangers signed Alex Rodriguez to the 10-year/$252 million record-setting contract they sought to surround him with a team that could win right away. They signed Andres Galarraga, Ken Caminiti, Mark Petkovsek, and Jeff Brantley in the days and weeks immediately after signing Rodriguez. Then the next off-season they added Chan Ho Park, Jay Powell, and Todd Van Poppel to the team. It was a bunch of guys all signed in the span of two off-seasons. It was a massive failure and a waste of resources. Doug Melvin who was GM was fired after the 2001 season.
John Hart was brought in and was responsible for the Park, Powell, and Van Poppel signings. Alex Rodriguez delivered on his end of the signings as he won an MVP in Texas despite playing for a losing team. The pieces around Rodriguez did not fit and the team finished in last place every season that Rodriguez was here.
As a result of this spending after the 2002 season the team was forced by owner Tom Hicks to cut the payroll. They let Pudge Rodriguez walk, Kenny Rogers was not resigned, and then prior to spring training in 2004 the team traded Alex Rodriguez. It led fans to blame Rodriguez and his contract for the team's failures when the anger should have been directed at the front office and ownership for their inability to put the right pieces around Rodriguez that would help the team win.
The 2004 team would go on a surprising run that saw them stay in competition till the final week of the season. The Rangers would then go through four straight losing seasons before starting to turn it around in 2009.