The Rangers are clearly not a very exciting team this year, but is there another trip to the World Series in the near future? The Rangers have actually been a relatively successful baseball organization over the last almost decade. Since 2010, they have made it to the playoffs five times while winning their division in four years, and of course those back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 & 2011. However, recently, they haven’t been as successful. They haven’t been back to the World Series, or even the American League Championship Series since 2011. They were swept in the American League Division Series of their last playoff berth in 2016 and it’s only gotten worse since. Last season, they finished under .500 and this season they have been among the league’s worst. When should we expect the Rangers to be back into the postseason?
2018 will not be the year for the Rangers. After a full month of baseball, the Rangers are not in a good position. As I write this, they are 14-23 and are in last place of the AL West. That being said, if we look beyond the wins and losses we can see that Texas’ shortcomings aren’t so simple. This team has dealt with a ton of injuries to start the season. Currently, three of their four starting infielders, Rougned Odor, Elvis Andrus, and Adrian Beltre, are out with injuries. On the pitching side, they are also missing starters Martin Perez and Tim Lincecum. Unfortunately, the injury bug isn’t the only problem this organization has. When they are healthy, they still aren’t good. Their healthy line-up is a decent one, but their pitching staff is pretty catastrophic. I believe that even when the Rangers do get healthy this season, they won’t have any chance of playing baseball in October.
Forget about October; who’s going to be on this team in August? As we’ve already pointed out, the Rangers aren’t going anywhere this year. That doesn’t mean they can’t use what they do have to get better in the future. The good pieces that the Rangers do have might be valued higher by a better team. I fully expect the Rangers to be sellers this year. I’m betting that Adrian Beltre will definitely be finding a new home after the July 31st trade deadline. He is what the Rangers should get the most back for, but they have some other potential trade commodities as well. Shortstop Elvis Andrus and Left-Hander Cole Hamels are both solid players that could add depth to a contending team. The Rangers should really consider putting their whole team on the market and seeing what they can get for it. The present is a lost cause for this team, but their future could be turned around by some good trades.
While we’re on the subject, what do Rangers fans have to look forward to in the future? Well, that is entirely dependent on what they can acquire for their current pieces. The Rangers really don’t have anything going on in the minors. I had to go all the way down to number 32 on the MLB’s top 100 prospects list to find the Rangers’ No. 1 prospect, Leody Taveras. He is still in Single A and he’s not doing great down there, hitting just .250 with one home run. The best prospect they got from the Yu Darvish trade, Willie Calhoun isn’t special either. He has been subpar at best since coming to the Rangers organization. What’s worse is that those two prospects are both outfielders. The Rangers absolutely need better pitching. The organization’s best pitching prospect doesn’t rank in the MLB’s top 100. The Rangers desperately need to win at the trade deadline and in the offseason by trading all the pieces they can and acquire some young talent.
Sadly, the Rangers won’t be hanging any banners anytime soon. They will be irrelevant for at least a couple more years before anything big happens. Temporary irrelevancy isn’t so bad though. Just ask the Rangers’ cross-state rival, the Houston Astros.