The Rangers are coming off their most successful decade in team history. Four division titles. Two American League pennants. One Wild Card.
Aside from the four titles, they finished second in the division twice, third twice, and fifth twice.
Much of this success was done the first four years of the decade. But in 2013, the American League West changed fundamentally. The Astros joined. It went from a four-team division (really, three considering the Mariners) to five teams. And since that time the Rangers have struggled to keep hold of its dominance.
Here is how the Rangers have fared in the American League West since Houston joined the division.
The Rangers are only 8.5 games better than last-place Seattle since 2013. In those seven years, the Rangers have failed to make the playoffs five seasons.
Houston and Oakland are going to continue being formidable for the next few seasons. Los Angeles has Mike Trout to build around.
Texas needs to start building a winner. Or, more aptly, rebuilding a winner. Fourth best doesn’t cut it.