We continue looking at the 30 MLB teams as they head into the 2021 season. And on this piece, we examine The State of the Texas Rangers.
Sign Kohei Arihara
The Texas Rangers would sign Kohei Arihara from the Nippon Professional Baseball league in Japan. Texas would sign Arihara to a 2-year $6.2 million contract. The 28-year-old right-hander spent the last six seasons compiling an ERA of 3.74 with a minuscule 6.7 strikeout per nine innings in the NPB. Now how that will translate to the MLB will have to be seen. But he’s said to have good control and not walk many batters, which bodes well for the new Texas Ranger.
Trading Elvis Android for Khris Davis
Now, we covered this trade more in-depth in our video on the Laracuente Ledger Network on YouTube. But this was essentially a swapping of bad contracts for players that needed a change. Bringing in Khris Davis places a right-handed power threat behind Joey Gallo. Now, some A’s fans have felt that Davis has lost a step in his bat speed and cannot compete at a high level. But Davis is a streaky player and could easily get hot for a few weeks and mash the baseball. If that happens, the Rangers will surprise some teams in the American League West.
A Plethora of Minor League Signings
The Texas Rangers are in the midst of a rebuild. And with rebuilding comes the need to discover what you have in the organization. But you also have to field a Major League team. So the Rangers would sign a whole host of former Major and Minor League players to Minor League contracts with invites to Spring Training. And should any of them, wow the Rangers coaching staff, they will be on the MLB roster come Opening Day.
State of the Rotation
The Texas Rangers starting rotation has three distinct starters. Those starters are Kyle Gibson, Mike Foltynewicz, and Jordan Lyles. Outside of those three, the Rangers rotation, much like a lot on this team, is up for debate. There will be significant battles in Spring Training for the rotation, and Texas will have to evaluate what they have then.
State of the Bullpen
When it comes to the Texas bullpen, there aren’t many notable names. Jose Leclerc is likely the only name that the National audience may have ever even heard about previously. So much like the rotation, there will be many battles for the bullpen roles. The Rangers have also brought in a ton of arms to camp to compete. And it will be in that competition that the Rangers will attempt to compete in 2021.
State of the Offense
The Texas Rangers offense is something interesting to try and figure out. There is a unique blend of sluggers and contact hitters. Joey Gallo is coming off a poor season in 2020, but he’s too good not to bounce back in 2021. Some Oakland A’s fans are glad to see Khris Davis go, feeling that his bat skills have diminished. However, if Davis can rediscover his ability, he will be a formidable threat and provide protection for Joey Gallo. Some of the other players on the Rangers roster could also be threats at the plate and allow the Rangers offense to be the team’s best part.
State of the Franchise
The Texas Rangers will face an uphill battle in 2021 if they are going to make the postseason. The Oakland A’s, Houston Astros, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are all significantly better teams. If the Rangers are going to have any chance of making the postseason in 2021, everything will have to break perfectly. That being said, the well under .500 record prediction by Baseball Prospectus of 67-95 is probably close to what will be the final record tally.