As the afternoon turned into evening on Wednesday, there was still a good feeling about the Rangers chances with free agent Anthony Rendon. Texas was reportedly still “heavily involved” in the pursuit, but it seemed like the rival Los Angeles Angels were picking up some major steam. Then, seemingly within an instant, it all fell apart.
One minute there’s nothing substantial going on, then the next the Angels are “trying to get Rendon done tonight” and then they had a deal in place for seven years and $245 million. All seemingly within like 30 minutes.
Then for the next couple of hours, Rangers fans vented. A lot of it directed towards nice guy Jared Sandler who really handled it all like a champ.
Love interacting with you all. Gonna go watch that sunset heart hands commercial 50 more times than do a crossword or something. Holler.
— Jared Sandler (@JaredSandler) December 12, 2019
A lot of this felt like a familiar pain I’ve experienced as a Mavs fan during free agency throughout this decade. The team is reportedly interested in signing a top free agent, there is room in the budget/salary cap for a move like it to happen, national media outlets are reporting that our local team is certainly a team to watch for in the free agent’s decision process, on and on and on… then the star signs somewhere else.
It hurts! It stings! It can make even the most loyal fan an intolerable, pessimistic brat on Twitter. Trust me, I see a lot of them every single day.
But guess what? Things will still be okay. There are still options.
For Rangers fans right now that might be hard to see or be super excited about. Adding a player of Rendon’s caliber to the lineup would have been an incredible edition. It might have even been a franchise-altering one! It didn’t happen, though, and the team has to quickly move on to find other options to fill their void at third base. Complaining and trashing management won’t change anything.
The best free agent option still remaining is Josh Donaldson. While he is five years older than Rendon, 34, he’s coming off an incredible season and he has the kind of personality and leadership style that could certainly wake up some of the young Rangers from the team’s level of mediocrity the last three seasons and give them a winning mentality.
The Rangers are lucky that some of the best players seemingly very available on the trade market in Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant play third base. Trading for a superstar seems kind of unlikely for Texas right now considering their farm system is built more around depth than any specific can’t miss, top of the line studs. Perhaps dipping into some of the talent at the major league level would help a deal? Seems kind of unlikely based on how MLB trades work.
Rockies are willing to listen to trade inquiries on superstar 3B Nolan Arenado (and anyone else); they’ve gotten many calls on him since trade deadline. Would shake up monster 3B market (Rendon, Donaldson, Bryant) but no one sees as likely yet. Has full no-trade so up to him.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 11, 2019
It’s easy to get upset or just make jokes about the competence of the front office, but don’t let this completely ruin your perception of the team’s offseason. The team improved their win total by 11 games from 2018 to 2019. They made a terrific hire at manager in Chris Woodward. They have a franchise cornerstone in Joey Gallo who appeared to be headed towards an MVP quality season before injuries hit in 2019. They’ve added to their starting rotation and bullpen. They’ve finally done what it took to be able to get Willie Calhoun’s bat and his .848 OPS into the lineup on an everyday basis by trading Nomar Mazara to the Chicago White Sox. They’re not done yet.
Relax, Ranger fan. It will be okay.
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