While the signings of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien were huge, Rangers fans have to use a bit of caution to not get too carried away.
This team won only 60 games last year. It was 23-players shy of having a 25-man major league roster. Seager and Semium are only two players. Yes, they also added Kole Calhoun and Jon Gray, but that is only four areas of upgrade on a team that needed dozens of upgrades.
Two star players cannot make that much difference.
Even if the Rangers make more big moves after the lockout, it’s doubtful they will be enough to turn the 2022 team into a playoff contender. They finished 35 games out of first. Seager and Semien aren’t a 35-game difference.
This road back to respectability is going to take a while. No doubt Seager and Semiem are a huge, beginning short cut. But the road is long. So we can’t get our hopes up too high right now.
But how far they have to come started a bit of curiosity. Which teams have made the biggest turnaround in major league history from one season to the next? Here are the top five:
+36 games: The New York Giants went from 48 wins in 1902 to 84 wins in 1903. The next season, 1904, they went to the World Series. The Giants had Christy Mathewson, by the way. A future Hall-of-Famer really helps.
+35 games: The Arizona Diamondbacks went from 65 wins in 1998, their first MLB season as an expansion team, to 100 wins in 1999, their second season. So, it can be done. It just takes some shrewd rebuilding.
+33 games: The Boston Braves won 38 games in 1935, which was Babe Ruth’s last season, to 71 wins in 1936. It should be noted, though, that the team won 78 games in 1934. So this wasn’t a Rangers thing where they were pulling themselves up from obscurity.
+33 games: The Boston Red Sox won 71 games in 1945. The next season, they won 104. It sure helped getting Ted Williams back from the war.
+33 games: The Baltimore Orioles started 1988 with a record twenty-one consecutive losses, and wound up winning just 54 games. The next season, they won 87.
As you can see, big dramatic turnarounds can be done. Even a twenty-win turnaround for this Rangers team would be huge. It would put them around .500, and back in the vicinity of respectability. Who knows, if more teams are added to the playoff picture as is the rumor (which brings a ton more revenue into the owners, so this is pretty much a forgone conclusion), the Rangers could actually be playing meaningful games past April.
Wouldn’t that be something?