The Athletic, which is a subscription-based sports site now owned by the New York Times, put out its offseason report card.
The Texas Rangers earned a D.
Their offseason needs were, of course, another starter, a certified closer, bullpen depth, and a DH. They got bullpen depth.
The Rangers needed to replace the departed Jordon Montgomery and to keep the Rangers competitive until the possibility of Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Tyler Mahle come off the I.L. They didn’t replace him.
There are no guarantees here with either of the three veterans. Who knows if they come back at all, and who knows what they will be able to produce should they come back? Pitchers rarely hit the ground running after surgery without skipping a beat.
The dumpster fire bullpen somehow came through in the postseason, so maybe the Rangers can actually count on Leclerc to close. So, maybe that’s a need they don’t need. But they did add a bit of depth with older relief pitchers.
Where they might really feel a lack of addressing needs is at DH. Mitch Garver had a very productive year at the plate. It’s not easy to replace a guy with a 134 OPS+. What made the Rangers so dangerous, and ultimately propelled them to a World Series title, was that their lineup was stacked one through nine. Not everyone is going to be hot at once. Two or three guys might be in huge slumps. But with a stacked lineup, you have enough hitters to overcome that.
The Rangers lineup just got one good hitter weaker.
While pitchers and catcher report Wednesday, there are still a couple weeks before Spring Training games begin, and about seven weeks before the season begins. So, there is plenty of time to address these holes.
But, as of now, the Rangers earn a D. Fortunately for the Rangers, the American League West is a two-team division, with Seattle possibly being a factor.