A travel story, since the Rangers are on quite the sojourn: First time I went to Rome, landed a Saturday afternoon visit to the Vatican, which was designed to wind up in the Sistine Chapel. But it was time to start getting things ready for Sunday morning, which meant making hard choices.
“Here, we have the Etruscan Museum, with artifacts thousands of years old from the founding of Rome,” the tour guide said, moving somewhere between a jog and a sprint. “And ... we’re not going to see it. Keep going.”
Which is quite the segue back to the Rangers and free agency the last few years. Come this week of October annually, because there have been no playoffs in which to participate, the front office gets together with the team’s pro scouts to consider offseason acquisitions. A notebook on upcoming free agents is handed out ... and the Rangers skipped right to the back of the book where the bargains were listed.
Not so this week.
“We didn’t start on the first page the past couple of years,” Jon Daniels, president of baseball operations, said Tuesday after the second of three scheduled marathon meeting days. “We kind of flipped past it. It’s been good this year. The [scouts] have a lot of freedom to make recommendations and to really dig into players. It’s definitely been more enjoyable.”
Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Rangers plan to spend money this winter. A lot of it. Perhaps not to the extent of the proverbial “drunken sailor” trope. Maybe more like a gently buzzed naval officer.