Texas Rangers Need to Look Beyond 2017

Mike Napoli and Adrian Beltre can't save this team (Image: Associated Press)

The Texas Rangers aren’t a playoff contender no matter what the numbers might tell you in the Wild Card race.

There are those who want to make moves at the trade deadline because once you get into the playoffs, anything is possible. That might be true for some teams, but not for this one.

Is there anything you’ve seen with this team over the last week that shows you what you wanted to see in a team that can make a deep run into the playoffs? If they even get that far?

The bullpen is shaky at best, Cole Hamels’ first start off of an injury was about as bad as anything this team, and the fans, have seen in him this season, and the only consistent starter of late. Even if the Rangers thought they could make a few trades to bolster their bullpen, it wouldn’t be enough to get them anywhere near a World Series run.

That’s why it’s time for the Texas Rangers to start looking beyond this season and move the pieces they won’t need for the future, pieces they should have moved at the end of last season or never should have acquired in the first place.

Where are they with Jurickson Profar? Do they really believe he’s going to be the player they expected him to be?

What about Yu Darvish? Isn’t there an argument to be made that they should have made a bigger push to move him at the end of the 2016 season, especially seeing the kind of return the Chicago White Sox landed for Chris Sale when they traded the ace pitcher to the Boston Red Sox. Wouldn’t that have made a huge impact to the future of the Texas Rangers if they had gotten something close to that?

If Texas is going to make any moves at all in the next few weeks it needs to be for pieces that are controllable beyond this season. Pieces that are going to effect how this team looks in 2018 and beyond.

While I certainly won’t make the argument that they need to go the route in which the Houston Astros’ organization took in building that team over the last decade, because no one wants to watch terrible baseball for the next 10 years, but putting money into where it needs to be spent is the difference between staying on top of the AL West and losing multiple games in the late innings because you don’t have pitchers who can keep a lead.

The Matt Bush story can be defined a few different ways and everyone has their own definition for it. But is it time to admit that maybe he’s not the closer the Rangers were hoping he could be?

It’s time to stop focusing on the potential of winning a spot in the wild card. There’s no one that will tell you that this team resembles anything like a team that can make a deep run or be any kind of threat at all.

The team that was knocked out of the playoffs by the Toronto Blue Jays each of the last two seasons was far better than the one that is flailing through 2017, still figuring out who they are and what they’re about.

“Never Ever Quit” is a great saying and a great way to manage a team, but a saying doesn’t make a team better than they actually are.

I do believe they have the right manager in place, I think he’s the perfect fit for the guys in the clubhouse and where this team wants to go in the future. But the team itself needs to be built for the guy leading it.

As it stands right now, it’s built for anything but the long term. It’s built from one year to the next with the front office hoping they catch lightning in a bottle with a couple of different players that other teams wouldn’t give the time of day to.

It’s time for general manager Jon Daniels to do the right thing for the long term and not just to take a shot at a year that may already be lost as it is. It’s time to put the right pieces in place for the Texas Rangers’ fans to enjoy beyond 2017.

It’s not about the next few months. It’s about the next 10 years. It’s time to act like it.

About Todd Kaufmann

Growing up in San Diego, CA, Todd made the move to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas in the spring of 2008. Since then, he has covered events such as the Byron Nelson Classic, the Colonial Tournament, the AT&T Cotton Bowl, numerous home games for the Texas Rangers as well as high school football around the metroplex. You can also find some of his written work in the weekly Prosper Times and monthly Prosper Magazine. He and his wife Kerri make their home in Little Elm, Texas with their daughter, Hannah, and yellow lab, Ranger. Contact: Website | Facebook | Twitter | More Posts

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