As part of the postgame celebration after Game 5, Ray Davis, Rangers owner, said, “This won’t be our last one.”
After the 2011 season, Jon Daniels, then Rangers general manager, promised this was the new direction for the Texas Rangers, that winning was what could be expected year in and year out. Year in was more like it. The success of 2010 and 2011 was followed by a small bit of winning and a whole lot of really bad baseball.
This promise from Davis seems more genuine than the promise from Daniels, and not just because an owner trumps a GM. It’s because this team seems to be built for a nice run.
Every single position player will be back next year, except for Mitch Garver, who is now a free agent. In the past, he has said he wants to catch. A whole lot of teams will pay a lot of money for a catcher that can hit as well as he does, even though he is injury prone. But, who knows, maybe he likes winning, maybe he likes this group of guys, maybe he’d want to stay and be a mostly DH, sometimes catcher.
If the Rangers get lucky, their rapidly up-and-coming prospect Wyatt Langford will break into the major league team out of spring training, or soon after. He seems to have the same arc as Even Carter. That leaves the Rangers with four top-quality outfielders, and no DH.
On the rotation side, Jordan Montgomery is a free agent. What he did since coming to the Rangers doubled his free agent value. He lifted this team on his back and dominated this postseason. The Rangers should do everything they can to keep him. Here’s predicting they will.
Without Montgomery, the Rangers have a rotation of Eovaldi, Scherzer, Gray, Heaney, and Dunning. That’s a pretty formidable rotation. Add Montgomery back into the mix, and it’s exponentially better.
The Rangers need to rebuild their bullpen. Even though Leclerc and Sborz had sudden, surprising rebirths in the postseason, they should get a bona fide closer like Josh Hader.
“This won’t be our last one” should be the mantra for the offseason. Don’t let the momentum evaporate like it did last time. It’s so hard to repeat in this sport. But not impossible.
Let’s hope their next one comes next year.