Thursday newsletter today: Rangers ruled baseball a year ago today
(AP photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
The reports started to surface last year on Nov. 28 and again Nov. 29. The notice of upcoming press conferences went out Nov. 30.
Then came Dec. 1, when 365 days ago the Rangers were the talk of baseball — at least on the non-lockout side of things.
The Rangers announced the signings of outfielder Kole Calhoun, second baseman Marcus Semien, shortstop Corey Seager and right-hander Jon Gray. The total financial outlay was $561.5 million, $500 million to Semien and Seager, and $325 million of that to Seager.
Even as the lockout hit a few hours after the Gray press conference, the Rangers were players again in free agency. Baseball people started taking them seriously. So did the fans, maybe too seriously.
It’s trickled into this offseason. The Rangers have said they have money, and the industry actually believes them.
One prognosticator predicted that the Rangers will sign Jacob deGrom to a five-year $200 million contract. The five years and $150 million that Carlos Rodon is expected to get is well in within the budget.
Will the Rangers spend it? They’ve kind of put themselves in a corner where the offseason would be a PR catastrophe if they don’t.
It all can be traced back to a year ago today.
How did they do?
Some time has passed since the season ended, and cooler heads should be prevailing now.
It’s time to look back at Year 1 for Seager, Semien, Gray and Calhoun.
Calhoun didn’t work out on the field, but it was a cheap one-year deal with very little risk involved. He was signed to instill a veteran presence and an attitude, and the players would have to answer how he did on that.
Gray was good when he was healthy. It would be nice to see what he could do over 30 starts. He has three more seasons to get there.
Semien was awful to start the season, but the way he played from late May to the end of the season is encouraging. After not hitting a home run for the first seven weeks of the season, he was still able to finish with 26 home runs. His season wasn’t great, but there were signs that he will be very good.
Seager was an All-Star and hit a career-high 33 home runs. His defense was lacking at times, and he is hyper-aggressive at the plate. No player lost more hits to defensive shifts than Seager. He stands to benefit from the banning of infield shifts, and he should be more comfortable in his second year. Year 1, though, wasn’t the success fans expected.
Happy December, everyone. Christmas is 24 days away. Gifts bought for my wife: zero. The good news is the winter meetings will occasionally allow for some downtime, so online retailers beware. Hopefully things are busier on the Rangers front. News is always good for the website. There could be some today or Friday. You never know with this team. Here’s our latest content, in case you missed it.
Recliner Nerd’s Armchair GM: Hitters
The Sunday Read: Mike Maddux old job, same job
Friday on the Farm: Porter and Rocker review
I’ve got to try this with our dogs. Enjoy.
Such a professional pic.twitter.com/qbxXSsG4bm
— Heckin Good Dogs (@HeckinGoodDogs) November 25, 2022
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org