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The Rangers enter the offseason with some tough decisions on veteran players

Photo: Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire

The Rangers enter the offseason with some tough decisions on veteran players

The Rangers offseason starts a little unexpectedly with the departure of pitching Coach Julio Rangel. However, the club has plenty of other decisions to make this offseason. The determinations include some players with expired contracts and a few coming to the end of their deal. GM Jon Daniels, Chris Woodward, and the entire organization are making it clear that the Rangers are a team filled with a strong, youthful core. With that said, where does it leave some of these players?

Shin-Soo Choo

2020 ended a seven-year contract that began in 2014 for Choo. Yes, remember that December 2013 signing? Choo was the Rangers’ “Good Guy” award for the 2019 season, and “good guy” is the best way to describe Shin-Soo. He’s a highly liked individual throughout baseball regardless of a being teammate or not. “Choo is one of my best I’ve teammates ever had,” Rougned Odor said after the season finale. “He’s one of those guys that are always there for you, always try to make you a better person, a better player.”

The injuries are piling up on Choo, who missed the last half of September after a hand injury suffered in Seattle. Coupled with his age and the Rangers’ current plans, it’s likely Choo won’t rejoin the Rangers in 2021, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to retire.

“I sacrificed a lot of things for this game. Sixty games, I don’t think that’s fair to end my career. At least play a full season,” Choo said.

Jeff Mathis

Texas signed Mathis as a mentor and initially aided Isiah Kiner-Falefa when Isiah started his role as a catcher in 2019. Mathis’ role goes unnoticed at times, but he’s helped blossom the craft of Jose Trevino and now Sam Huff. Despite the youth movement, I wouldn’t show any shock if Mathis re-signs with the Rangers. It could depend on how the organization feels about where Sam Huff is. Huff ended 2020 on a high note, but I don’t think Huff starts in the big leagues next season. With that said, he may end 2021 in the majors. For Jeff Mathis, the Rangers need another catcher to complement their young players, and I think Jeff would be a good asset, significantly aiding the young pitchers and Jose Trevino.

Lance Lynn

Texas didn’t trade Lance Lynn at the deadline as Jon Daniels felt that they weren’t going to get Lance’s value in return. Now that the offseason is here, look for Texas to put Lynn’s name out on the market again. The question is how aggressive Daniels will be regarding Lynn and the possible suitors. Lance has one year left remaining on his contract, making him more coveted among the rest of the league. If no activity occurs during the winter meetings, the Rangers fall under the same trap as 2019-2020 Mike Minor. It won’t add pressure on Lynn, but it puts some pressure on the organization to make sure a rinse and repeat scenario doesn’t surface. I see Lance Lynn sticking around for the first half of 2021 season and a possible July 31st deadline deal, though it’s been a story before.

Rougned Odor

Ah, everybody’s favorite subject when it comes to the Texas Rangers. To make things clear, Odor’s massive weekend to close out 2020 against the Astros didn’t guarantee him a starting spot in 2021. The organization is clarifying that Odor has to win his role in 2021, like everyone else.

“He’s going to have every opportunity to win a job, but he’s going to have to earn it,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. What does that mean? Well, the success of Nick Solak could dictate the plans between Odor and the Rangers. Yes, he’s going to play, but where and how much may no longer be fully in his court.

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. My baseball memory bank is dominated by the Texas Rangers with the other 29 franchises sprinkled in. In addition, I enjoy NFL Sunday afternoons and only the first NCAA tournament weekend.

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