30 in 30: The Texas Rangers
2016 Record: 95-67
2016 Finish: 2nd in MLB, 1st in AL
2016 in Review
One week into Spring Training for the 2016 Season, Ian Desmond wasn't playing for anyone. The Former Nationals Shortstop was coming off a .238 season, which wasn't a great idea going to free agency, and sitting in his Florida home, Desmond probably thought, "I'm done. It's over." AND THEN THE TEXAS RANGERS CALLED AND SAID, "HEY CAN YOU PLAY CENTERFIELD?"
Desmond is no longer with the Rangers as he signed a 5-year, $70 million dollar deal with the Colorado Rockies in the offseason, but that doesn't make his 2016 season in Arlington any less surprising. Desmond went off for the Rangers in 2016, putting up careers numbers across the board. Desmond reset the clock on his career and the Rockies rewarded him with $70 million dollars over 5 years.
When you have the best record in the American League the last thing you expect is a quick exit from the playoffs. The Texas Rangers also had the unfortunate task of playing the Toronto Blue Jays, a team the Rangers had a growing feud with over the course of the season. Knowing all of that, the Rangers still came into the ALDS with their heads held high.
The Blue Jays punched the Rangers straight in the mouth, rocking Cole Hamels and decimating the Rangers 10-1. The Rangers would only lead the series for one half inning the entire series. No Rangers pitcher lasted more than 5 innings. The Rangers hit .262 in the regular season but bunted a solid .203 in the ALDS. You simply can't let the other guys walk into your house and take over. The Rangers laid down and let the Blue Jays walk all over them. That's not what a first place team does.
The Rangers made some very interesting moves this offseason. They re-signed Mike Napoli... so they're apparently willing to roll the dice with him in 2017. They also signed Andrew Cashner, something most playoff-bound MLB teams have done. Not. Look, Texas is going with a "what we had was fine" mentality for 2017, which could work out. There's so much youth in the Rangers system, and we've been able to see a lot of flashes of that potential. Rougned Odor is only 23, and we've seen Nomar Maraza and Joey Gallo's stuff last season. So there's also a chance we could see the youth take the reigns of this organization within the next few years. But will that be 2017? There's only one way to find out!