The Texas Rangers are setting themselves up for a bigger fall than the one they’re experiencing in 2017 and even harder still than the one they’ve been on since their last appearance in the World Series back in 2011.
It’s been a ride that has seen this baseball team not get even close to that kind of success since then and most would ask why a talented organization couldn’t figure out how to put the right pieces in place to put them back on top. Not only that, but most wonder how in the world this team gets embarrassed out of the playoffs in back-to-back years by the Toronto Blue Jays especially after having a commanding series lead in the first of the two series.
From being World Series contenders year in and year out, to being bounced out of the playoffs in the very first round, to looking at being happy with just getting into the playoffs.
How have things fallen so far?
It’s an easy answer but not one that a lot of people are going to like. Then again I’m not one that seems to tell people what they want to hear and I don’t always say what most want to hear.
Here it goes anyway.
The answer to their problems is simple. It’s become personal instead of business.
Think of it this way. The Rangers hung on to Derek Holland far longer than they should have because they were sure that Holland would eventually come around.
He never did.
Texas should have moved Elvis Andrus four years ago before giving him the 10-year contract extension when he was at the market’s highest value. A value this organization was never going to get again.
Say what you want about Andrus being a fan favorite, and he is in every sense of the imagination, but having a few fan favorites isn’t going to win this organization, or its fans, the coveted title that has eluded them thus far.
Fast forward to 2017 and the conversation has now moved on to moving another fan favorite in right-hander Yu Darvish. The only problem is the conversation is eight months too late. It’s a move this team should have made after the 2016 season came to a close because they could have gotten close to the kind of return the Chicago White Sox got when they traded Chris Sale to Boston.
Now? They’d be lucky to get a couple of mid-level prospects because there isn’t a team anywhere that is going to give up that kind of return for a guy most are sure they’ll only have on their roster for the next four months with little to no chance in signing him long term.
Texas still thinks it can sign the Japanese pitcher long term but do they really want to invest upwards of $200 million on one player when they can spend the kind of money fixing the far bigger holes they have than in one pitcher?
How about revamping a bullpen that has been next to awful all season? Or fortifying the back of the rotation and not with guys named Tyson Ross or Andrew Cashner?
But the one move that cannot and should not be made is moving third baseman Adrian Beltre. Why? Because he’s a fan favorite.
I know it sounds like a load of hypocrisy coming from my side of the table but with Beltre so close to the 3,000 hit mark, a signature number that usually spells an automatic invitation to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, it’s a milestone that should only happen with him wearing ‘Texas’ across his chest.
He means too much to this organization, that team, the clubhouse, and to the fan base in general. With his career winding down, allowing him to finish it with the Rangers is the right thing to do.
Jurickson Profar, Joey Gallo, Shin-Soo Choo, Cole Hamels, Elvis Andrus, Mike Napoli, and Jonathan Lucroy are all names you’re going to hear among the rumor mills and the Rangers would do well to listen on all of them. They may end up only moving one or two of the above names, with Andrus being the most unlikely, but they need to listen on them all.
It’s time to admit what this season really is and start focusing on the future because the future is much brighter than what’s standing on the field on this Tuesday evening.
This franchise was close to being a title contender year in and year out six years ago. Six years later they aren’t even a contender for their own division and it’s time to make sure that narrative changes.