Texas Rangers: Multiple players have cloudy futures with the Rangers

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The 2020 season was a rough one for a number of Texas Rangers players, but there are a few players that come to mind that certainly have cloudy futures within the club for the future.

The Texas Rangers have a lot of internal questions that they need to be asking themselves after a dismal 2020 season, and it starts with the likes of Rougned Odor, Elvis Andrus, Willie Calhoun, and Danny Santana.

The players in that group had an extremely rough 2020 campaign, filled with lots of injuries and struggles for all of them, as all four players hit below .200 on the year, and posted negative WAR’s (wins above replacement). In fact, the group combined for a -2.8 WAR per Baseball-Reference.

Rougned Odor

Odor really struggled throughout the year. He had a few stretches where he played decent baseball, but overall he looked outmatched whenever he stepped to the plate.

He hit .167 on the year in 38 games, and looking at the advanced metrics, the Texas Rangers were much better off with Odor off the field than on it, as he posted a negative offensive and defensive WAR.

General Manager Jon Daniels has said quite a few times since about the halfway point of the season that he won’t guarantee even starting jobs to Odor, and his infield counterpart that is also on the list, Elvis Andrus, for the 2021 season, so both will likely be pushed hard in spring training.

With infielders like Anderson Tejeda waiting in the wings, it may not be long before the Texas Rangers try to either trade Odor in a salary swap for potentially a pitcher that’s being overpaid like him (they discussed Odor for Nathan Eovaldi at the trade deadline).

In my opinion, it is in the best interest of the team to cut ties with Odor sooner, and let him stink up another lineup.

I also view him as the most likely player from this list to not be with the team in 2021.

Elvis Andrus

Elvis Andrus was a centerpiece of the Texas Rangers organization for the 2010’s, as he was the club’s starting short stop for basically every game during the decade, and owns the club record for most starts at that position.

Andrus’s job is in jeopardy, but is a little more secure that Odor’s, I think. He struggled with injuries in 2020, as he played in less than half of the season’s games (29/60), but was very bad in the games that he did play.

While it may be best for the club to potentially move on from Andrus, he should at least get one last chance from the team to see if there is anything in the tank.

When I look at the 2020 season, I really view stats with an asterisk for players that have an outlier in their stats, and Andrus losing over 80 points from his 2019 stats is definitely an outlier to me, but it is also concerning, given his age (32 now).

I do think Andrus is a starter for the 2021 team, but I am not quite sure as to what the capacity will be, as the team could look to transition Isiah Kiner-Falefa from 3rd over to short, potentially making Andrus a DH for the season, given how bad his fielding was.

Willie Calhoun

Calhoun was another player that was awful in 2020, but he also missed a ton of time due to injuries, playing in just 29 games.

Like the other two players on this list, Calhoun was a negative player both on and off the field (according to WAR), and really struggled to get it going.

I think the case for Calhoun could be similar to Andrus, plus he had that scary injury during the first spring training of 2020 that may have gotten to his head.

Only 17 strikeouts in 29 games is a good sign, though, meaning he put the ball in play. I would think that his meager .190 batting average is more of an outlier, as it was a 79 point drop from his 2019 season.

I think Calhoun is on thin ice for the 2021 season, because of how the Texas Rangers are set up with Andrus likely transitioning to a DH, and Calhoun pretty much only being useful as a DH, or below average LF’er.

Danny Santana

Santana started the year with high expectations after a terrific 2019 campaign with the Rangers, but ultimately fell short of those expectations as he had an ice cold start the first week of the season, then spent essentially the rest of the year injured.

He hit .145 on the year at the plate, bad enough to have a negative WAR at the plate (and overall), but he actually did have a positive WAR playing defense.

I think the Texas Rangers will still value him, and try to get him playing time, but they have a lot of players that they need to free spots up for, and Santana could be someone that jumps all over the infield and outfield to get at-bats.

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Final Thoughts

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Texas Rangers work out a 2021 starting lineup with these guys, as they have somewhat cloudy futures with the team.

The roster has a lot of players vying for at-bats… the infielders are Ronald Guzman, Odor, Kiner-Falefa, Andrus, Tejeda, and the guys that can play both infield and outfield in Nick Solak, Santana, and even Calhoun (if they try to move him back to second).

That’s eight players just there, without considering Joey Gallo and Leody Taveras, who will almost certainly be Opening Day starters for the 2021 season.

dark. Next. Rangers end of season notes

The 2021 season will be very interesting to see unfold, as there are a lot of moves that the Texas Rangers need to make, and they more than likely have four starting spots locked down (Solak, Kiner-Falefa, Gallo, and Taveras), with a plethora of other guys competing for the other spots in the lineup.