The Texas Rangers. Despite being the less talented brother of the Texas baseball team duo (Texas Rangers and Houston Astros), the Rangers have held their standard of being the favorite Texas-based baseball team.
The Rangers had a disappointing 2019 season, falling well short of the playoffs at a record of 78-84, coming up third in the American League West. Jeff Daniels, who in my opinion is an underperforming General Manager, decided to make some moves. The first move of the offseason, which has also been the largest, came in the form of acquiring three-time all-star and two-time Cy Young award winner, Corey Kluber. Daniels also went and signed a plethora of new faces in the form of pitchers, Jordan Lyles and Kyle Gibson, along with the position players of (in order of opinionized notoriety) Robinson Chirinos, Todd Frazier, Matt Duffy, and Greg Bird.
Along with signing a couple of multi-year veterans the Rangers have focused their attention on how strong their youth is and the embrace of the talent thereof. The Rangers have made no difference in the advancing of their young talent with big-time boppers of Joey Gallo, Danny Santana, and Willie Calhoun. Santana and Calhoun were key bench players in the Rangers surge last year and have been awarded a strong trust and starting positions. Keeping with the trend of allowing younger prospects to promote the reserved time, the Rangers have allowed younger players such as Nick Solak, Scott Heineman, and Isaiah Kiner-Falefa to pick up the garbage and reserve time.
With the accreditation of how the structure of the team itself was formed this offseason lets discuss how this will affect the standings. The MLB playoffs come to form where the best team in each division makes the playoffs where the two teams with the best records who did not meet the classifications are allowed a play-in game in the form of a wild-card game. Winner of the wild-card game plays the team with the best record in their league. There are two leagues in the MLB with three divisions each; factoring in the one wild-card team, there are 8 playoff teams with 4 per league. The Rangers exist in one of the most difficult divisions in baseball: the American League West. The AL West consists of the Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels and of course the Texas Rangers.
I’ll now break it down to a standpoint team by team-wise. The Houston Astros finished with a 107-55 record placing them as the American League champs. However, if you have paid attention to just about anything concerning baseball this season, you probably did not fail to miss the Astros cheating scandal. In short order, the Astros had been stealing signs illegally from other teams and have been punished because of this. These repercussions that have been enacted on the Astros have left a big “what if?” around how the Astros will perform this year.
The Oakland Athletics finished the year at 97-65, clinching the wild-card spot along with the AL central Minnesota Twins before inevitably losing to the Twins in said wild-card game. Additionally, the Athletics have always been a stagnant team where they usually try to promote players within and can lead to a really salty young team that performs well.
The Los Angeles Angels finished last season with a record of 72-90 and only really made one addition with the signing of all-star Anthony Rendon to pair up with the number one baseball player alive in Mike Trout. This signing may seem good on paper but the Angels have had a huge history of taking in great free-agents and those players really tanking in the regular season. See Albert Pujols, Vernon Wells, Jonathan Lucroy, Andrelton Simmons, etc for example.
Lastly the Seattle Mariners with a record of 68-94 and didn’t do much in the offseason but the only way to go is up. All that being said the division will definitely be competitive this year but it’s really anybody’s guess as to how it will finish out.
My advice to the people who consider themselves a fan of the Texas Rangers is to watch how our young talent blasts our offense into a surge while being backed by strong veteran pitching, hopefully leading to a playoff-bound season!