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