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Texas Rangers Need to Recover from Having the MLB's Worst Offseason

The Rangers in better days.
The Rangers in better days.Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jonathan CullenSenior Writer IDecember 29, 2012

The last time the Texas Rangers were on the field, they had to watch the Baltimore Orioles celebrate winning the wild card play-in game in front of a stunned Rangers home crowd.

After spending most of last season in first place in the AL West, it's not a position that the Rangers expected to find themselves in.

Going into this offseason, the Rangers were rumored to be in on Zack Greinke, Justin Upton and re-signing Josh Hamilton, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

But almost three months into the MLB offseason, the Rangers look to be the team that has taken the biggest step backward.

For a team that went to the World Series in 2010 and 2011 and made the playoffs last season, that was a tough pill to swallow.

Josh Hamiltion? He's gone to the division rival Angels, after failing to give the team a chance to match the Anaheim's offer. Here is the report on Hamilton's signing from Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown.

Zack Greinke? Seemingly on the verge of landing the biggest prize of free agency, the Rangers seemed to lose out, last minute to the Los Angeles Dodgers. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman was the first to tweet about Greinke's signing.

Justin Upton? Surprising reluctance by the Rangers to part with Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in a deal for Upton caused the Diamondbacks to explore their needs with other teams. Fox Sports'  Rosenthal mentions that the Rangers aren't very keen on the free-agent market and that the D'Backs might still trade Upton.

 

While Andrus is a good player, he shouldn't have been a deal-breaker for the Rangers.

Trading Andrus for Upton would have a been a great move to replace the power of Josh Hamilton at a fraction of the cost.

Upton is under contract for the next three seasons at $38.5 million, literally one-third of what Hamilton will make with the Angels.

Texas also lost lineup mainstays in  Mike Napoli and Michael Young (although it sounds like Napoli's deal might be in jeopardy according to this report from Fox Sports' Rosenthal).

The Rangers' pitching staff has also suffered loses, losing Ryan Dempster and Koji Uehara to the Red Sox and Mike Adams to the Phillies.

Will the Rangers panic? Unlikely. The have smart people running the team and a great farm system to depend upon.

But, outside of the shrewed signing of Joakim Soria and the recent acquisition of catcher A.J. Pierzynski, reported in this tweet from ESPN's Jim Bowden, they need to add more to their team.

Can they talk to Arizona about Upton again? Sure, but the cost has gone up with the D'Backs holding all of the leverage.

Top free-agents Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse and Adam LaRoche all remain unsigned. All would fill a need for the Rangers.

For the Texas, it might not be what they envisioned.

But, it is a place to start.

Statistics used from Baseball Reference.

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