After selling off their best assets this summer, the Texas Rangers have some fan maintenance to do. The near decade-long rebuild has taken its pound of flesh from the fanbase and given the departure of fan-favorite Joey Gallo, it doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon.
This is hardly the image the Texas Rangers pictured when their stadium opened up last season. The poorly performing team and the pandemic combined to sour the grand opening and stunted what is usually a boon for professional sports franchises.
An active free agency period would do wonders for revitalizing Texas Rangers’ fan support.
Texas Rangers fans want to be happy. This isn’t a case of the miserable only being happy when they’re miserable. Fans legit want to have something to root for. Anything to root for. Here in north Texas the demands aren’t absurd: Field a competitive roster and build hope for the future.
Texas Rangers fans want to be entertained and they want hope. That’s not too much to ask. But presently, it’s hard to see either on the horizon for next season. Not without some big moves.
“With the financial flexibility we have moving into the offseason, I expect us to be very active in the free agency market”, stated Rangers GM Chris Young.
MLB.com called this year’s free agent class possibly “one of the best free agent classes ever” as long as all the expected names hit the market. This bodes well for a team like the Rangers who have a lot of money to spend this offseason.
And luckily (luckily?) for the Texas Rangers, they have plenty of holes to fill so they can be a little opportunistic on the market. But not too opportunistic.
Typically, the Rangers sit back and scoop up bargains. By signing retreads to modest contracts the Rangers have maximized their reward without signing up for too much risk. This strategy has worked well for them (particularly in the pitching ranks) – almost annually flipping their success stories for prospects.
Given their success rate, the bargain hunting at pitcher should absolutely continue. Why mess with a winning formula after all? But Chris Young cannot afford to play the opportunist game in the field. The Rangers have enough needs at the positions, they need to be active and aggressive. If that means overpaying in order to secure the object of their affection, then so be it.
The team needs some cornerstone players and the fans need something to be excited about. The youth movement will only go so far in fan excitement. For as fun as it is to see prospects develop, the process is inevitably painful. Insolating the young talent with proven veterans will go a long way in winning and developing.
With the collective bargaining agreement about to expire, there are some obstacles (known unknowns) they have to overcome. Given the state of affairs here, it’s also safe to say Arlington is not going to be a hot free agent destination. The Rangers are going to need luck to be on their side.
This offseason is one of the most important free agency periods the Rangers have had in a while. Salaries have been shed, the cash is available, the intent has been stated, and the fans are weary. Good luck, Chris Young.
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