The Texas Rangers are finally ready to commit to their rebuilding project.
Really? What took Daniels so long to come to that realization?
Daniels likes to think that Texas can compete every year with reclamation projects, often acquiring players past their prime. It worked once in the early 2010s when he brought in players like Josh Hamilton and Mike Napoli and went to two consecutive World Series, losing them both.
At about the same time, Daniels won an internal battle with Hall of Fame pitcher and Texas icon Nolan Ryan. The Rangers have been going downhill ever since. Ryan went to the Houston Astros, which, after committing to rebuilding, created a powerhouse. Daniels became the sole captain of the ship. He has navigated it like the Exxon Valdez and it remains rudderless.
Daniels figured he would draw fans with a mediocre team because of shiny, new Globe Life Field. Then this little hiccup called COVID-19 hit.
He should have been fired long ago just for signing Shin-Soo Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract. He signed veteran Todd Frasier and traded for Corey Kluber in the offseason. He picked up retread Danny Santana last season, who had a good 2019 but has been nonexistent in 2020.
He hasn’t broken camp with a major league catcher in years. This year, he brought back 36-year-old Robinson Chirinos before trading him at the deadline. He sticks with the aging Elvis Andrus at shortstop and the grossly undisciplined Rougned Odor at second. He built the team around Joey Gallo, but unsupported, teams can pitch around the only power hitter on the roster.
The third slot in the lineup is getting the worst production in baseball. In the history of baseball. Name a winning team that didn’t have a number three-hitter? Exactly.
Despite the success of the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, and others, Daniels has never embraced a rebuilding program before. Daniels can’t see that the future is not now. At the beginning of the season, he publicly stated that he is not going to break up this team. Now wants to go young.
So, in rebuilding – late to the party again – but there is only one problem. He has little to rebuild with. Many of his so-called prospects were bad picks or sent away in deals to acquire marginal players.
The Texas Rangers are on pace to finish with the worst record in the American League, and Daniels is to blame for refusing to rebuild. Now he says he will introduce a rebuilding plan in November, or at least five seasons too late.
But Daniels always thinks he is the smartest guy in the room, or in this case, the smartest guy on Zoom. No one is buying it.