Mac Engel

Texas Rangers winning off-season by not making any major moves

The Texas Rangers are doing about as well this off-season as they did during the regular season, which is the best news we’ve had from this team in a while.

Pitchers and catchers report to Surprize, Ariz., for MLB Spring Training on Feb. 14 and this team stinks, which is fine.

Losing out on Shohei Otani is a win. For the love of all things holy, please do not sign any of the “top” free agents that are currently praying for an owner to overpay them during this, the Great Off-season of Collusion.

This list includes .... Greg Holland, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn, TCU’s Jake Arrieta, and, our BFF, Yu Darvish.

The Rangers have won their share of Off-season World Series trophies only to see them net minimal yields on the field, and in the standings. Prince Fielder, anyone?

Rangers GM/President of all things Rangers baseball Jon Daniels told the crowd at the team’s fanfest that he does not expect the team to be a big player, i.e. spend a huge amount on a player or two, in the market. He’s also been known to lie through his teeth about such matters, as well as the direction of the sun rise.

For the first time in memory, the free agent market has collapsed. Players are irate, and scared. Agents are livid, and trying to explain to their clients why they can’t bury them in money.

Market corrections always happen, even in sports. Despite their ambition to win and put a decent team on the field, owners are tired of handing out five and six-year deals only to see a limited return on their considerable investment.

Either Rangers’ owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson finally grew fatigued by Shin Soo Choo deals gone bad, or the general manager is done with them, too.

JD convinced his bosses to go for it with big, veteran “over the top” additions, only to routinely miss the peak.

Whatever the explanation, it was time to stop to madness, and the denial. Adding guys like Cobb, Lynn or Cain would be a nice addition that will spark mild interest, but the roster has too many holes and weaknesses to fill in one off-season.

There are issues at second base. At first base. On the mound. And in the outfield, too. And in the bullpen. And at third base.

And at shortstop, where Elvis Andrus could exercise an opt-out in his contract after this season.

One free agent doesn’t fix this club, or make them any more of a contender than they already aren’t.

The Rangers had to eat their vegetables, and they are currently staring at a season full of peas, beets and asparagus.

No, none of this will taste very good, but a plate of beets beats a big gulp of denial.

Mac Engel: @macengelprof

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram