Some people like the offseason. The Hot Stove League as it’s called. I find it to be more like the Hot Air League. Endless drivel about where this guy might go, who is in play for that guy, mystery teams emerging at the last minute for Player X.
It’s not a story until it’s official. Until then, it’s a waste of time.
Trevor Story wants to sign with the Rangers because he’s from here. Trevor Story doesn’t want to sign with the Rangers because he wants to go to a contender. Clayton Kershaw wants to move back home. Clayton Kershaw wants to be a Dodger his entire career. Corey Seager has a good relationship with Chris Woodard. Corey Seager wants to play in New York. Blah blah blah blah blah.
It’s easy to fall victim to it here. The Rangers are horrible. The Rangers have been horrible. The Rangers will be horrible. The farm system is barren. The farm system has been barren. Jon Daniels is an inept evaluator of talent.
All these things have been true and until something changes they will remain to be true. Maybe something will change this offseason. Maybe the Ranger decade-long run of mediocrity, in which they have played .487 baseball over the past ten seasons, will finally start turning around. Maybe not.
But until it does, it won’t.
I’ve been writing daily about the Rangers for eight seasons. Two of which were amazing, in 2015 and 2016, six of which have been a slog, culminating with 2021. It is so much more fun writing about them when they are good.
This past season tested my faith in baseball. Watching the Rangers makes one forget how great this sport can be. Watching the World Series reminded me of that.
The Rangers make baseball intolerable.
This is a long-winded way of saying, I am taking a break this offseason. I won’t be writing daily Rangers columns. Rangers Rounding 3rd will still be an open for comments and criticism, either of the Rangers or this blog.
Instead, I will be only posting new blogs when something relevant happens.
As I said, there is nothing I find less interesting than offseason baseball. In 2020, due to the pandemic and the caustic relationship between owners and players, the offseason was four and half months longer than normal. This offseason, since the Collective Bargaining Agreement runs out in sixteen days and all activity will freeze from that moment on and the only thing to talk about will be the interminable boredom of both sides of the billion-dollar industry demanding more money, this offseason is going to be longer and more painful.
It’s hard to care about a sport that doesn’t care about me. It’s even harder to care about a team that doesn’t care about its fans.
Thanks for coming here every day to read my inane ramblings and musings about a team we all love, even though it hasn’t loved us back for quite some time. It has taken us for granted and expects us to continue to care.
Please continue coming here, leaving comments, and making this site better as you have for the past eight seasons.
If I was running the Rangers—and really, could I do a worse job than the guys who are running it now—here is what I would pursue.
1. Assuming the Ranger have anything of value in its farm system, trade for Matt Olson. Oakland is selling off its players. Unlike the Rangers, they have major leaguers someone would want.
2. Sign Corey Seager or Carlos Correa or Trevor Story to play shortstop. I am going to have to overpay them considerably. First of all, it’s not my money. Secondly, ownership has plenty of it. Thirdly, they haven’t spent any of it for the past five years. This is their Cheapness Tax.
3. Sign Kris Bryant. Put him in left, since Josh Jung is nearly ready for third.
4. Sign either Michael Conforto, Jorge Soler, or Nick Castellanos to play right field.
5. Get a top of the rotation arm. Either through trade of free agency.
This would give the Rangers a lineup that had Matt Olson at first, Andy Ibañez at second, Seager/Correa/Story/Simean at short, Jung at third, Kris Bryant in left, Adolis Garcia in center, and Conforto/Castellanos/Soler in right. They can get by with Trevino and Heim catching. All that would be missing would be a DH. Nathanial Lowe works for 2022 until we reload in 2023.
Suddenly, the worst offensive team in baseball would be one of the best. Then, when Jack Leiter gets here, the Rangers might actually be worth paying attention again.
Oh, and if Freddie Freeman is somehow not signed by the Braves, scrap all of the above, back up the Brinks truck, and sign him for as long as he wants and as much as he wants. He is Michael Young and Adrian Beltre rolled into one. He is the one player every franchise should build around.
That’s what I would do. Your milage may vary.