The Rangers just spent a lot of I need money now. Now they should spend even more.


Give the Rangers this, at least: No matter how things go, there can be no more accusing them of financial austerity. Not when they exceed expectations and hand Marcus Semien, 31, a seven-year contract worth $ 175 million, or a full year and $ 37 million. on the highest projection. Not when they pay low-end starting money to Kole Calhoun, 34, whose last good season outside of the shortened 2020 pandemic year was 2016. And not when they end the day with a $ 56 million commitment. dollars over four years for Colorado Rockies right-hander Jon Gray. the total damage is $ 236.2 million, a staggering number for a franchise that has been skimping on the open market since its last playoff appearance I need money now

Now they should go even further. Much further.

Since the end of July, I need money now"}” data-sheets-userformat=”{"2":513,"3":{"1":0},"12":0}”>I need money now have heard the voice of Jon Daniels every time the Texas Rangers come to mind. Three words, in particular: “No half measures. Daniels said them the morning after trading Joey Gallo to the Yankees, and he said them in regards to what shape this rebuild will ultimately take. It’s an apt battle cry for a team with a threadbare major league roster and a deep farm system – the Gallo trade helped that – but shy on the ceiling, especially when it comes to bats. Of course, the reconstruction must be complete. What else would you do for a team that lost 100 games for the first time since 1973?

That speech came to my mind again on Sunday as news of the measures flooded in because, for now, the Rangers have engaged in half measures. The Gray deal is a great deal no matter where a team is in their development cycle: $ 14 million per year for a proven rookie mid-rotation with age (he turned 30 earlier this month). here) and sustainability (at least 25 shares in all but one of his full major league seasons since 2016) is money well spent, and that’s before we wonder if Texas could coax another piece of equipment of him to become a bloated version of Lance Lynn and Mike Minor. But Calhoun is little more than a stopgap in a position where Texas desperately needs to find long-term contributors. At one year with a club-for-a-second option, the financial commitment is negligible, but the opportunity cost lies in absorbing home plate appearances that might go to a younger free agent or to better assess potential at home. long term of a fringe name on the roster – an Eli White, perhaps – or a mid-season call-up.

Then there is Semien, an objectively great player – third place in a row in the AL MVP vote –with intangibles a young clubhouse is in dire need of it, but whose best seasons on this contract will almost certainly come before the Rangers themselves peak. Dan Szymborski of Fangraphs estimates the decline will set in as early as 2024 before it really hits in 2025, after which Texas will be chained to years of Semien’s decline at $ 25 million per pop. It’s a curious move for a team barely a calendar year away to see the latest from Shin Soo-Choo, another high-end importer who arrived in their early 30s only to see declining production cripple the auto budget. -taxed tax. The calculation was then more understandable, at least; the Rangers were racing against time to win a World Series before their aging core lost its relevance. In today’s environment, the movement is billing itself as a player now for a later roster, a get-rich-quick baseball program for a team with no talent on the field to carry it out. Why the urgency?

Again, a curious move, unless the plan is to go even further. Several reports circulated Sunday night that Texas were ready to double the shortstop jackpot, paying for Colorado’s Trevor Story or, better yet, the Dodgers’ Corey Seager (then bouncing Semien off second base). It would be dramatic, seismic, a different reporting market than anything the Rangers have undertaken since the A-Rod winter of 2000. It would kill any discussion of an Astros or Cubs rebuild, the patient storage of a young age. – aligned core and at controlled costs.

Yet with nearly a quarter of a billion already on the mark, this is precisely what Texas should be doing. The Rangers need to give the baseball ecosystem an even bigger shake, and Seager or Story would do it better than any signing since Adrian Beltre. And Texas shouldn’t end there either. Take Jamey Newberg on one of his business suggestions and return some of the newly superfluous depth of perspective in the central infield in Oakland for Matt Olson, great first baseman Nathaniel Lowe aspires to be but would no longer have the time to mature. Bring home his native son Clayton Kershaw while they’re at it, for the short-term boost to the top of the rotation and, more so, the cultural cachet of the greatest baseball player Dallas has ever produced upon finishing. his career at home. Maybe also fork out for Seiya Suzuki, because fiscal irresponsibility in sport goes hand in hand with fun and vibes.

All that always wouldn’t be enough to make the Rangers’ suitors overnight. The rotation would remain too uneven, the enclosure too suspect, the holes in the outfield and behind the plate too glaring. So they should spend even more next summer, when the gems of the minor league pitching crop – Jack Leiter, Cole Winn, Ricky Vanasco – knock on Globe Life Field’s door.

Even then, there is no guarantee. If Semien hits rock bottom sooner than expected, or if Josh Jung isn’t the plug-and-play third baseline prospect he is widely assumed to be, or if they can’t find anything close to a mix capable ground, or Gray / Kershaw / whoever doesn’t become a veteran ballast in the rotation, or if half a dozen other things don’t fall into place, Texas could end up on the misaligned lane that dooms them. mediocrity teams: paying to age big names without enough young talent to complete production. This is how the Angels floundered while owning the two best hitters in the sport.

But in seven hours, the Rangers made their bed. They have chosen to be bold and he cannot go back. Spending generously is not enough; they only have to look at 21 years in the rearview mirror to be convinced. Spending comprehensively could be. At this point, anything less would be half a measure. And the most powerful ruler in his building knows better than anyone how little it will earn him.



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