A season ago, the Texas Rangers finished fifth in the American League West with a 60-102 record. Most teams would certainly fire their manager and general manager after a disappointing season, but not the Rangers. Manager Chris Woodward was given an extension through the 2023 season with a club option for 2024. Once the Rangers locked up their manager, they turned their focus to the lineup and spent some Texas-sized money this offseason.
The Rangers have 562 million reasons to be much better in 2022. Going on a spending spree before the lockout to land Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, the Rangers are ready to make a statement this season. Having both Seager and Semien at the top of the lineup takes a lot of the stress away from Woodward. There is balance in the lineup this season that we did not see a season ago. Youth and inexperience were the difference-makers for the Rangers last season. In addition to Seager and Semien, the Rangers made sure to fill some key areas to address the catcher and right field positions. With Joey Gallo no longer patrolling right field, the Rangers signed former division foe Kole Calhoun, who used to terrorize the Rangers during his time with the Los Angeles Angels.
Calhoun, another seasoned veteran, will help mentor and guide Rangers center fielder Adolis Garcia, whom many felt should have won Rookie of the Year last season. Garcia is an electric player that flashes speed and strength, both offensively and defensively. Looking at left field, journeyman Brad Miller will be the one patrolling left field on opening day. Having a terrific spring, Miller batted .370 with three home runs and six RBIs in 27 games. The Rangers are hoping his spring will carry over into the regular season.
The Rangers also made sure to address the catcher position during the offseason. Last season, the Rangers relied on catchers Jose Trevino and Jonah Heim to split time catching a young pitching rotation that seemed like it was just trying to get by. Still, with this young rotation, even with the addition of Jon Gray, the Rangers felt that bringing in a veteran catcher like Mitch Garver would not only fill a need but also give them a veteran presence behind the plate.
The rotation will look somewhat different this season. Opening Day starter Jon Gray comes over to the Rangers in free agency after spending the last seven seasons with the Colorado Rockies. This was a great move by the Rangers and General Manager Jon Daniels. At the top of the rotation, Gray allows the younger guys like Dane Dunning, Taylor Hearn, and even Spencer Howard to watch a veteran like Gray go about his process from start to finish. The Rangers also brought back left-handed pitcher Martín Pérez, and having Perez in the rotation gives a good balance with depth to the rotation. With the abundance of pitching talent currently in the farm system, Jack Leiter, Cole Winn, and Owen White make their way to Arlington; the Rangers pitching will be solid for seasons to come.
It is safe to say that the Texas Rangers will be much improved heading into this season. With veterans like Seager and Semien, the Rangers have a nucleus they can build around for years to come. Add Josh Jung, Justin Foscue, and even Jose Acuña; the Rangers will be a force in the American League West for seasons to come.
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