During the last offseason, the Rangers committed $500M to three free agents—Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Jon Gray. Many sports writers tabbed them to finish second in the AL West as they love big contracts and are thus blinded as to how bad the team was previously. The Rangers were far from three players away from contention. They did improve upon 2021, but that improvement was to still being a bad team…4th place (because the A’s were even worse) and 68-94. By the end of August both the manager and the team president had been fired. Their best hitter was (former Ray) Nathaniel Lowe—27 homers, .302 avg, 141 OPS+—and not one of those high priced free agents.
No doubt at least some pundits will predict great things for them again this year, as they continue to spend free agent dollars, this time signing Jacob deGrom (and hoping he can stay healthy). They have also picked up Andrew Heaney to bolster the rotation. Again assuming good health, adding them to Jon Gray, Jake Odorizzi, and Martin Perez should equate to a pretty good pitching rotation. If they don’t find more at least average batters to add to Semien, Seager and Lowe, they still won’t be catching up to the Mariners, let alone Astros.