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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Out of the bargain bin, will Rangers’ willingness to spend in free agency be rewarded?

“We didn’t start on the first page the past couple of years,” Jon Daniels, president of baseball operations, said Tuesday after the second of three scheduled marathon meeting days. “We kind of flipped past it. It’s been good this year. The [scouts] have a lot of freedom to make recommendations and to really dig into players. It’s definitely been more enjoyable.”

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Rangers plan to spend money this winter. A lot of it. Perhaps not to the extent of the proverbial “drunken sailor” trope. Maybe more like a gently buzzed naval officer.

The point being there are real dollars available. In the first week after the season, Daniels said the Rangers would move back toward a payroll “consistent with the market size,” which is, however you define “market size,” in the top tier in MLB. The qualifier being: They won’t necessarily make the jump in a single year. More like two.

The best way to explain the current state of the rebuild is this: Daniels and general manager Chris Young see it as no more than a two-year process in which the Rangers combine significant financial resources, high draft picks and a restocked farm system to jump back into real contention. A lot of teams have two of the three elements at their disposal at once. The separator, the Rangers believe, is they also have the financial wherewithal.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 21, 2021 at 11:32 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Walt Davis Posted: October 21, 2021 at 05:40 PM (#6048177)
I'm glad to see the words, will be glad if they do spend some but ... why? They just lost 102 games. The current MLB lineup has Nate Lowe, an average 1B turning 26, and Adolis Garcia, a CF with a hot first half, lousy second half turning 29. Kiner-Falefa is a useful play anywhere guy or fringe starting SS. The rotation is not good (and not particularly young) and, like every team, they may or may not have some solid bullpen arms. I know nothing about their system but it needs to be top notch for this team to have much hope of going anywhere in 2024.
   2. Walt Davis Posted: October 21, 2021 at 06:08 PM (#6048183)
This seems odd, maybe not as much as I think (expecially given covid) but you have to go back to the 2017 draft to find a single Rangers draftee who has made the majors yet. I know most guys take a few years but usually there's some college pick who moves quickly or, given bullpens these days, at least gets his 9 innings in the pen.

You have to go back to 2015 to find a player with more than 1 career WAR -- Dylan Moore, 2.8 WAR for the M's. Kiner-Falefa in 2013 with 7.5 WAR is close to the Becker Line. Gallo in 2012 tops that at 14. To be clear, I'm not just talking about the first rounds, I'm talking about those entire drafts.

The 2011 draft was pretty good. They found Brandon Woodruff who has produced 12 WAR ... alas all for the Brewers. They found Kyle Hendricks who has produced 22 WAR ... all for the Cubs. They found Jerad Eickhoff who has produced 5 WAR, all for the Phillies (well 6 for the Phils, -1 for the Mets, good man).

If we do look at their first round for the 21st century

Tex 2001 51 WAR, 22 for Tex (great pick ... 20 years ago)
Danks 2003 20 WAR, 0 for Tex
Gallo 2012 14 WAR
Tommy Hunter 2007 11 WAR, 4 for Tex
Smoak 2008 7 WAR, 0 for Tex

The other 34 picks (incl various supplemental): 1.9 WAR. The most recent one to make the majors is 2015 4th overall pick Dillon Tate who has produced a few solid relief innings ... for the O's.

As near as I can tell, the Rangers have never had a successful 1st round pick that they extended past their FA date (Bobby Witt maybe but, if so, they traded him the year after). Pudge was there for a long time of course but he was signed before PR players were added to the draft.

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