The Texas Rangers arguably were the most anonymous team in Major League Baseball this past season in finishing with MLB's third-worst record at 60-102. They might not have had an above-average player at a single position. The Rangers now have the most expensive double-play combination in the majors after giving big contracts to Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager and Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien, but the SportsLine Projection Model (see below) still forecasts the 2022 Rangers among MLB's worst teams.
Semien was the first to sign with Texas, getting a seven-year, $175 million deal. The 31-year-old picked a good time to have a career season in Toronto as he slashed .265/.334/.538 with 45 home runs, the most hit by a second baseman in a single season in MLB history, 102 RBIs and an MLB-best 86 extra-base hits to finish third in the AL MVP voting. Semien previously was a shortstop with the Oakland A's but moved to second in his one season with the Blue Jays and won a Gold Glove.
He played every game for the second time in three seasons and has missed just 10 games over the past four. Semien told the Rangers he would be fine staying at second base if they went out and signed a top shortstop, which Texas did in giving Seager a whopping 10-year, $325 million deal.
The 27-year-old Seager is an immense talent as a former NL Rookie of the Year and the World Series MVP in 2020 – winning that award in the bubble at the Rangers' Globe Life Park when the Dodgers beat the Rays in the Fall Classic. The problem with Seager is staying healthy. He was limited to just 95 games this past season and hit .306 with 16 homers and 57 RBIs. Seager also missed most of the 2018 season. He's not considered a very good defensive shortstop and may have to move off the position eventually at his size.
The Rangers became the first team to commit half a billion dollars on two or fewer players in a single offseason ever – and that doesn't include a $56 million contract given to former Rockies pitcher Jon Gray.
Before free agency, the SportsLine Projection Model forecasted Texas with 62.3 wins and the additions of Semien and Seager only bump that to 67.3. The Rangers' playoff chances are still nearly nil – although it's quite possible if not likely that the playoff field will be expanded in the new collective bargaining agreement. The current CBA expires tomorrow night and then there will be a lockout.
Texas is scheduled to open the 2022 regular season – it if starts on time – March 31 at home vs. the Yankees, who also were reportedly looking at Seager and Semien. At Caesars Sportsbook, the Rangers are +8000 to win the World Series. Win totals will not be released for a few months.
|Before Free Agency||62.3||38.50%||0.10%||0.10%|
|w/ Seager, Semien||67.3||41.50%||0.10%||0.40%|
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