Tha Sports Junkies 101

Texas Rangers: New Year, New Team

Texas Rangers: New Year, New Team Image via SportsGraphics36


Texas Rangers

Over the past seven seasons, the Texas Rangers have reached the postseason in all but two of them, and one of those two ended with a Game 163 tie-breaker loss against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013. During that span they also won four division titles and reached the World Series twice. Unfortunately, they were unable to achieve the ultimate goal of a World Series title.

Heading into 2017, the Rangers are coming off of back to back division titles. While that is definitely something to be proud of, most of their fans might be a little bothered by the fact that they were knocked out of the ALDS in both of those seasons by the Toronto Blue Jays, adding fuel to the fire of a growing rivalry. It’s safe to say that this team has had more than just a taste of playoff baseball in recent years, and they should be eager to get the ball rolling as they look to once again reach the postseason and take another shot at a championship run.

Off-Season Moves:

The Rangers have been relatively quiet this off-season, and the team has seen more subtractions than additions. Two of their key lineup figures, Carlos Beltran and Ian Desmond, left in free agency along with first baseman/designated hitter Mitch Moreland. The loss of those players only adds to the sting felt by the unfortunate loss of Prince Fielder, who was forced into early retirement. As for the starting rotation, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis left in free agency, although Lewis remains unsigned. That puts a big question mark behind the team’s top starters, Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels.

So far the team has made some minor moves to fill some of the aforementioned holes. They brought back outfielder Carlos Gomez on a one-year, $11.5 million deal. This was a low-risk, high-reward alternative to Ian Desmond, who ended up getting five years and $70 million from Colorado. Another low-risk move was the addition of free agent starter Andrew Cashner, also signing a one-year contract for $10 million. Both of these players have shown promise in the past and could pay off big for the rangers if they can perform in 2017.

Expectations for 2017:

The Texas Rangers remain motivated towards one goal, a World Series title. Whether they’ve done enough in the offseason to allow this goal to come to fruition remains to be seen. They have been linked to free agent Mike Napoli, a reunion that would really help the Rangers fill a need at first base and DH. Without the addition of Napoli, the Rangers would be looking at some combination of Joey Gallo, Jurickson Profar, and Ryan Rua. If they are serious about contending, I expect them to work hard on getting that deal done.


As far as the rotation is concerned, Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish are two of the games elite arms, but the latter will need to prove that he can stay healthy this year. And while the addition of Cashner helps, he is far from guaranteed to be productive. If they can can find another starter to provide some support behind Darvish and Hamels, that would go a long way in making this team a contender again.

The AL West is seemingly up for grabs, although the Houston Astros are looking like a serious threat to that division title this year. Outside their division, the Rangers will have an arduous road to the World Series with powerhouse teams like the Boston Red Sox and AL Champion Cleveland Indians taking aim at a title of their own.

One Ranger player that the entire baseball world will be keeping a close eye on in 2017 is Adrian Beltre. Sitting on 2,942 career hits, Beltre is just 58 hits away from 3,000. A milestone that will strengthen what is already a hall-of-fame worthy career.

Adrian Beltre – Photo: mc1681 via Flickr


It is clear that the Rangers are motivated, and they have the postseason experience to remain focused as they look to make another run, but the path to the World Series will be incredibly difficult. I expect them to make a few additions to provide some stability to their lineup and pitching staff before the season begins.

Texas has created a winning culture over recent years, so they should be contending at season’s end. If they can somehow make the postseason for the sixth time in eight years, the one-two punch of Darvish and Hamels will make them tough to beat in a five or seven game series. The question is, in a league full of teams that are continuing to improve, have the Rangers improved enough to keep pace and compete in October?