The Sunday Read: Start of offseason spending spree is near. Here’s who Texas Rangers could sign
(AP photo/Jeff Chiu)
Thanks to Dansby Swanson, Jorge Soler and Will Smith, the baseball world is on the brink of the start of free agency.
The Atlanta Braves are also on the brink of their first World Series title since 1995, holding a 3-1 lead over the Houston Astros in the best-of-7 series, and that won’t upset too many Texas Rangers fans.
The final out of the World Series winds the offseason clock. All players become free agents the next day, and five days after the World Series they can begin negotiating with all 30 teams.
Trades will also be discussed in more earnest once the Fall Classic ends.
That final out could come Sunday night at Truist Park, where the Braves are 7-0 this postseason. The World Series will go no later than Wednesday.
The Rangers should be all ready to go.
They have said since the trade deadline that they have so much money to spend that they won’t be out on any free agent. They met a few weeks ago in Arizona to set their sights on which players they want to pursue.
It’s not going to be an easy sell, with the Rangers coming off a 102-loss season, but they expect to sign a star player or two. They have built the expectation, albeit to a leery fan base, that they will sign a star player or two.
It might take some time, especially if the owners and players can’t agree to a new collective bargaining agreement. It’s possible the Rangers come up empty. It’s possible their idea of star player is different than much of the fan base’s idea.
Who do the Rangers want? Who will they land?
It’s prediction time, but first an explanation of one factor that could determine which way the Rangers could go.
Even though there is labor unrest, the qualifying offer remains in effect this offseason. A team that signs a player who rejected a qualifying offer must surrender draft-pick compensation.
For the Rangers, they would surrender their second-round pick and the next-highest pick for any subsequent signings of players who were given the qualifying offer. Only players who spent the entire season with the same team are eligible for a qualifying offer.
That and the compensation piece are very important to a team that has the No. 3 overall draft choice.
Now, it’s prediction time.
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