The offseason is officially underway. Texas winning the World Series eight days ago pushed the start of the offseason later than Texas has ever started an offseason. Texas does not want this to be the end of the run and instead the beginning of a run. They are hoping it is a run that includes multiple trips to the World Series and multiple championship parades through Arlington. The first goal though is to be the first team to repeat as champions this century. Baseball is the only major professional team sport that has not had a repeat champion in the 21st century. Texas is trying to break that trend and their difficult mission starts now with what they will do this offseason. I am going to make four predictions on what I think Texas will do to make another run at the World Series.
1) Texas signs Shohei Ohtani
The last two offseasons Texas has signed the players that were considered among the top free agents on the market. In 2021 it was Corey Seager, and in 2022 it was Jacob deGrom. Texas will make it a trifecta when they sign Shohei Ohtani to the biggest contract in team history. It will certainly top the amount Corey Seager signed for in 2021.
Ohtani a two-way sensation will sign one of the most complex contracts in baseball history. It will include several incentives and escalators based on his ability to pitch after having a second Tommy John surgery. His inability to pitch in 2024 will lower the total amount of the contract as he will just be able to hit. Texas will guarantee to give him the option to pitch in 2025 and beyond. Ohtani will sign with Texas because the Rangers give him a chance to win. The two sides will come to an agreement on a 10-year/400 million contract base and it will have the ability to grow to 450 million over the life of the contract.
Once Texas adds Ohtani it will open up the door to other moves and potential signings. Players will be willing to come to Texas for less just so that they can be a part of a winning team. It would not surprise me if this signing is done prior to the Winter Meetings much like the deGrom signing in 2022. It would allow Texas to work to add to the team after signing Ohtani and address other places on the roster.