Rangers
Karen Warren / Houston Chronicle

The Rangers are in rebuilding mode, after finishing 2020 with an American League-worst 22-38 record. But this shows the organization’s total commitment to its core of young players. The Rangers will investigate the free-agent market, but they will not sign anybody who has the potential to stand in the way of a young player.

“This season is ultimately going to be marked by us moving into a youth movement,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “Everything we do moving forward is going to revolve around that. Our winter additions are going to look to fit into the roster we are putting together and also fit into the development-minded culture we need to have.”

Texas must be judicious in how it develops its young players and puts them in a position to succeed. This means adding veteran players that can fill roles with until their young prospects are ready to play every day at the MLB level.

Bats

The Rangers hit 27 home runs in 30 games at Globe Life Field. The Dodgers and Braves combined for 25 homers over seven games in the National League Championship Series at the ballpark. The Dodgers and Rays combined for 21 homers in six games during the World Series, which was also held there. Because of the postseason performances, it was shown the issue was the Rangers’ offense and not the new ballpark.

Designated hitter, first base and left field are all options to upgrade the Rangers bats without disrupting the development of some of their young players.

First Base

Ronald Guzman hit .244/.314/.436 over 26 games this year. Over the past three seasons, he has hit .230/.308/.417 with 30 home runs in 721 at-bats. Guzmán has been perceived to be Texas’ first baseman of the future for the past three years, but he has yet to seize the job. He is now 26 and will be out of options next season. Guzmán is considered an excellent defensive player, but manager Chris Woodward said he needs to see more consistency.

The Rest of the Infield

The Rangers are moving Isiah Kiner-Falefa to shortstop, which is an interesting move considering he won a Gold Glove at third base. Elvis Andrus is being switched to a utility role but could also play third base if the Rangers don’t fill the position via free agency.

The Rangers are also going to give Nick Solak a chance to win the second-base job. Left field is open. Willie Calhoun has the offensive potential, but the Rangers need to see him play better defensively. Eli White has outstanding defensive skills but is unproven offensively. This could be the spot where the Rangers add a big bat from outside the organization.

Starting Pitching

Both Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles fell short of expectations for the Rangers in 2020. Right now they join Lance Lynn at the top of the rotation. The Rangers have plenty of candidates for the bottom of the rotation.

Lack of innings, experience, success, and health are all contributing factors to why the Rangers will look to add one or two proven veterans prior to Spring Training.

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