If the Texas Rangers decide to aggressively pursue pitcher Gerrit Cole this winter it’ll give insight into the timeline of Jon Daniels’ rebuild
We knew from the start, 2019 wasn’t about completing for the Texas Rangers. Even the biggest optimist could see this team wasn’t talented enough to compete in the postseason this season. This was about rebuilding. It was about developing players, answering questions, and burning the candle on some regretful contracts.
Where opinions start to vary is when exactly the Texas Rangers are expected to compete again. At this time last year the Rangers seemed two, if not three years away from being a legitimate postseason team. But after a better-than-expected 2019 season, that timeline is moving up in many fans’ hearts and minds.
Will the Texas Rangers try to compete next season or do they still see themselves as two or three years away from being a contender? It’s tough to say right now. We know Jon Daniels has the green light to invest in free agency and increase the payroll. But how much exactly, remains to be seen.
Because without the investment from the front office, this Texas Rangers team is doomed to flounder in mediocrity. There just isn’t enough young budding talent in the system to expect significant improvement without external help.
It’s not just how much Jon Daniels is allowed to spend, but who he’s allowed to spend on. Looking at the roster, there’s no shortage of concerns across the infield. 1B, 3B, and catcher all headline the list of positions that likely require upgrades.
Assuming the Rangers HAVE TO invest in pitching, there’s probably not enough resources to address all the concerns. The Rangers could come close if they take the same route they’ve taken in recent past and invest in “damaged goods” and “reclamation projects”. They’ve had pretty solid success as of late and may be compelled to apply the same strategy this winter. But such a plan would signal they’re willing to accept the consequences should Daniels’ luck regress to the mean.
That’s why a massive investment in this winter’s prized free agent, Gerrit Cole, may say more about Daniels’ intentions and the timeline he’s working with than anything he’s said publicly. It would be a case of actions speaking louder than words.
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When presented the opportunity to trade Mike Minor last season, Jon Daniels resisted, indicating Minor may be a part of the Rangers long-term future and the timeline to field a contender may be shorter than we once thought.
A full rebuild would mean Minor has no place on this team. But if the rebuild appears to be ahead of schedule, retaining Minor makes perfect sense. Lance Lynn worked out splendidly so the Texas Rangers are much better at the top of the rotation than they thought they’d be at this point.
If the Texas Rangers sign Gerrit Cole to a deal, they’d have a pretty strong 1-2-3 in their rotation. Considering what it would cost to sign Cole, bringing him in would indicate the Rangers are ready to compete NOW.
This winter’s actions will be very telling as to what timeline Jon Daniels is working with. Is he going to throw a bunch of options at the wall to see what sticks, or is he going to invest big in one or two sure things and commit to the here and now? We’ll see…
- Published on 10/11/2019 at 11:01 AM
- Last updated at 10/11/2019 at 08:07 AM