Friday Newsletter time: This is what happened the last time Texas Rangers were perceived to be offseason's big spenders
The Rangers left the 2012 winter meetings supposedly in control of the market, but soon lost out on multiple key acquisitions.
All reports from the general managers meetings this week seemed to indicate that the Texas Rangers are setting the baseball world on fire with their spending potential this offseason.
They have very little committed for 2022, and president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said earlier last month that he expects the Rangers’ payroll to be commiserate with a team in a market the size of DFW.
The assumption is he means for 2022, even though he might mean something else.
The last time the Rangers were said to be in charge of the offseason was after the 2012 season, when they left the winter meetings as the team said to be in control of the offseason.
It just didn’t turn out that way.
Within the span of 10 days in December, the Rangers missed out on free-agent starter Zack Greinke, didn’t pull the trigger on a rumored Justin Upton-Jurickson Profar deal, and, in what proved to be the ultimate kick in the shorts, failed to re-sign Josh Hamilton.
The Hamilton news came down during annual Rangers holiday luncheon, and was broken by a radio personality who covered the Los Angeles Angels. Hamilton agreed to sign with them for five years and $125 million, hours before he was supposed to meet with Daniels.
Daniels was under the impression that Hamilton would allow the Rangers a chance to match any offer.
Understandably, Daniels excused himself from the luncheon, which as memory serves as at the Omni in downtown Fort Worth. Daniels was pacing at the opposite end of the hallway, having what I concluded was a very animated phone conversation.
My memory is not wrong on this front: That’s as mad as I’ve ever seen him. The runner-up was at the 2009 trade deadline, when the Rangers didn’t land Roy Halladay.
The Rangers were trying to win a wild-card spot in 2009. They were trying to recover from the late-season collapse in 2012, and lost a tiebreaker in 2013 to be in the wild-card game.
Hamilton and/or Greinke would have made the difference.
These Rangers are trying to build upward after scraping down the team in 2021. They have money, allegedly, but also a very fresh and real wound of 102 losses and the likelihood of not contending in 2022.
As of now, it’s all just buzz. The Rangers better hope this offseason doesn’t sting like it did nine years ago.
Zavala stays in Arizona
Rangers second-round pick Aaron Zavala is spending his offseason working out at the Arizona facility in Surprise with the idea of hitting a peak at the start of spring training.
Zavala joined the Texas Rangers Baseball Podcast on Thursday. He said he is mostly working in the weight room with some light hitting drills, and won’t start to throw until after the holidays.
Zavala went to college at Oregon, where he was the Pac 12 Player of the Year, and his family lives near Salem. But the Oregon weather isn’t exactly ideal for a baseball player’s offseason.
Cole Winn, the reigning Minor League Pitcher of the Year, is also spending his offseason in Arizona, but he is working out in Scottsdale. He said that he plans to do his throwing in Surprise.
Card of the Week
All this talk about who the Rangers are going to sign and who they talked about when they met with super agent Scott Boras, and there hasn’t been much mention of a player who I think it a terrific fit for the Rangers.
It’s Kris Bryant, the former National League MVP and a free agent for the first time.
As such, the 2014 Bowman Chrome BCP 25, which is regarded as Bryant’s rookie card, is the Card of the Week.
Bryant will turn 30 in January and plays third base, first base, left field and center field. So he’s versatile, can hit and is a veteran who could protect young Rangers hitters.
That’s three boxes checked off on the list of Rangers priorities. And he would come without costing any draft-pick compensation.
See? It makes a lot of sense.
A smart dog and a good man. Enjoy. See you Monday.