The Rangers focus.

“Our focus is getting back into contention and staying there for an extended period.”

Those are the words of Rangers general manager Jon Daniels as he heads to San Diego for Monday’s beginning to the annual Winter Meetings.

Daniels is a master at GMspeak. The art of saying something without saying anything at all, of making half promises couched in half statements.

The last three seasons he said the Rangers were in it, were going for it all, and had no intention of rebuilding.

Then he followed that up by signing Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner and Dillon Gee and Miguel Gonzalez and Bartolo Colon and Doug Fister and Matt Moore and Edinson Volquez and Drew Smyly and Shelby Miller as starters. 

Which explains why the Rangers won 78, 67, and 78 games in the last three seasons.

GMaction is always much easier to interpret than GMspeak.

It’s still way too early to make any judgements on how this offseason has gone, especially in light of the fact that in the past two offseasons the major free agents haven’t signed until late into February and even into spring training.

Heading into the Winter Meetings, the Rangers have made three small upgrades to their pitching which was badly in need of upgrading. They’ve added Nick Goody, Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles, neither of which would constitute “getting back into contention” as much as avoiding embarrassment.

Heading into the Winter Meetings, if Daniels is truly going to live up to his promise of being and staying in contention, the Rangers need major upgrades at catcher, first, third and center (second, of course, but that’s not going to happen), as well as in the rotation. 

That won’t all happen in San Diego this week. In fact, maybe none of it will. The Rangers may come back home with nothing more than more bit parts. But the monumental changes this roster needs take time. 

Groundwork will be laid. Inroads will be made.

But how many of the major upgrades the Rangers need get addressed before the season begins will answer how serious the Rangers are at getting back into contention.  

Let the bringing back of October begin.