The Texas Rangers have spent a truly absurd amount of money in free agency so far this offseason, a record in fact. With more than $500 million now committed to free agents, including Marcus Semien, Jon Gray, Corey Seager and Kole Calhoun, the Rangers are looking to vastly improve upon their dismal 60-102 season.
The sick thing is the Rangers might not even be done (well, at least when the lockout is over — whenever that is), as they’ve been connected to Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson (good luck making that happen within the division) and apparently the entire Cincinnati Reds pitching staff (Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, or Tyler Mahle) in potential trade talks.
So the Rangers are trying to skip their rebuilding phase altogether and start contending in the now-loaded AL West. But how much better will they actually be?
As things are currently constructed, probably not much.
Though Gray does help improve the Rangers’ pitching staff, the rest of it is effectively in shambles. The Rangers had a 4.79 team ERA last season — third-worst in the American League — and their best pitcher by a mile, Kyle Gibson, was shipped off to Philadelphia at the trade deadline. Jordan Lyles (5.15 ERA), Mike Foltynewicz (5.44 ERA), Kolby Allard (5.41 ERA), Dane Dunning (4.51 ERA) and Taylor Hearn (4.66 ERA in 11 starts and 42 total appearances) all collectively had a rough go of it in 2021.