Texas Rangers: Does Lorenzo Cain make sense?

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 30: Lorenzo Cain /

According to reports, the Texas Rangers are said to be interested in signing free agent center fielder, Lorenzo Cain. Does that make any sense?

This winter, the Texas Rangers have been actively patching holes with bargain free agents and savvy trades. Saddled with a tight budget, creatively has been key to building a roster this offseason. Neither loading up nor stripping down, the Rangers are intent on walking the line of contention this next season (and probably for the foreseeable future).

Rangers GM Jon Daniels has seemingly thumbed his nose at the idea of adding a top flight pitcher in either free agency or the trade market. Opportunities have been there but he’s declined. Frugal spending is again the mantra of the offseason and big names need not apply.

Then this happened:

Typically when we title an article in the form of a question we do so with the intent of answering said question. The long-winded answer to a yes or no question makes up the bulk of the column and works to shed light on a particular situation some may be missing/overlooking/forgetting.

Such is not the case here.

The Texas Rangers interest in Lorenzo Cain is baffling. Not because he isn’t a fine player. And not because the Rangers don’t have needs in center field either. It’s baffling because it flies in the face of what we’ve finally accepted – that the Rangers are not active players in this offseason’s free agent prizes.

For months the Rangers were in the local and national conversations as possible landing spots to Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish. We believed it because we wanted to believe it. But all evidence was to the contrary with Jon Daniels repeatedly tempering excitement and expectations for free agency.

More from Sports Dallas Fort-Worth

Then, just as we all started to accept what Jon Daniels was saying, a report like this surfaces and totally makes no sense. Why would the Rangers be interested in an expensive defensive outfielder who will turn 32-years-old in April?

Sure he’s a good center fielder but at his age his skills are declining, as evidenced by his drop in DWAR. Last season’s 0.9 DWAR was his lowest since 2012.

Sure he’s a good hitter. He’s a career .290 hitter with a .803 OPS. But he’s only exceeded 10 home runs in a season twice and it’s typically power, not average, that shins through for players in his 30s.

By all indications Lorenzo Cain is a fine player and great teammate and he’ll no doubt improve the Rangers in the short-term. But in the long-term he could serve as a roadblock, either to Delino DeShields’ development or to prospect’s Leody Taveras’ ascent.

Most Rangers fans are resigned to the fact that no amount of tinkering can make the team a contender in 2018. Most know it’s about building for the future. Money saved today can be spent tomorrow. And with so many young stars set to hit the market the next two winters, saving money actually sounds exciting.

Will signing Cain today get in the way of their ability to sign Manny Machado tomorrow? I sure hope not.

If true, it’s just hard to make sense of a signing like this.

Next: Why the Rangers can't commit to rebuilding this season

Of course, if the price is right and commitment is short this potential deal could be brilliant. But at face value it’s hard to make sense of a move like this – a move that is so obviously in the best interests of the present and possibly to the detriment to the future.