Texas Rangers begin their enormous offseason to-do list

(Photo by Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/Getty Images) /

It’s not hyperbole to say this might be the most important offseason the Texas Rangers have seen in years. Yes, last offseason was big. The Texas Rangers signed free agents totaling over a half-billion dollars in a single day. That was record-setting.

Yes, last offseason the Rangers signaled an end to their purge, and a willingness to win again. Yes, with the dwindling pandemic Texas was finally able to properly welcome their fans to the new stadium and usher in a new era in Rangers baseball. But this offseason might just be bigger…

This a big offseason for the Texas Rangers, with course-setting decisions at all layers of the organization.

When the Texas Rangers dispatched manager Chris Woodward and president Jon Daniels this summer, they put all their eggs in Chris Young’s basket and set themselves up for one of the most difficult offseasons in recent memory.

The expanded payroll from last season sets the timeline and expectations. Texas Rangers ownership has dedicated big money to open a competitive window for the Rangers. They need this team to get competitive and get competitive quickly. Not sensing Daniels and Woodward were the right men to take Texas in that direction, they cut bait quickly and decisively. All to the shock of many, including the last man standing, Chris Young.

Now the Rangers front office is tasked with rebuilding itself AND upgrading the roster. Pitchers didn’t develop the way the Rangers wanted to last offseason so a number of moves are needed this winter to make Texas a viable competitor next season. And according to ownership, the expectation is to compete in 2023.

Before the Rangers can hone in on roster upgrades, trades, and strategies, they first must get their brain-trust in order. Will they get another front office person to help carry Young’s burden? Will they get an experienced manager who will bring extra creditability to the franchise? Will they continue the vision of adding rising talents (like Young) and be patient enough to let them grow on the job?

Given the wide range of candidates they’re expected to be considering, I’m not sure they’ve decided which direction they want to go managerially. And it’s something that must be decided and decided quickly because the Rangers need to be active this winter in free agency. They simply have to get better pitching on staff, and have to have leadership and a clear plan in place in order to do so.

And the decisions they make will have lasting consequences.

Last offseason raised the stakes of this offseason. And instead of just taking the next steps on the roster, the Texas Rangers need to get new leadership in place to set them in the right direction.

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These course-setting moves are long-term. They aren’t the kind of hires that are one-year experiments, rather they are a commitment to win for the best years of the Corey Seager/Marcus Semien window.