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Are the Rangers Really Off-season Losers?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Starting pitcher Zack Greinke is introduced as a Los Angeles Dodger on Dec. 11, 2012.

    Talking with a buddy the other day about the Texas Rangers' off-season struggles, which on the surface seem to be really horrible, he asked a key question. Are the Rangers really the big off-season losers that everyone is making them out to be?

    Sure, they've swung and missed on every big target they had this winter — Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, Justin Upton, R.A. Dickey, etc. The only move the Rangers have made is bringing in a rehabbing Joakim Soria to put in the back end of the bullpen. They've lost three key pieces of their lineup and two key relievers to free agency.

    But panic not, Rangers fans. Here's why the offseason really hasn't been all that bad.

    Josh Hamilton — Don't kid yourself, the Rangers never really wanted him back. When the market seemed to be non-existent for the 2010 AL MVP the Rangers thought they might be able to bring him back on their terms. Instead the rival Angels offered five years for $125 million to a 31-year-old who has done enough damage to his own body to probably be more like 35 or 36. Plus, the Rangers now get the Angels first-round pick in 2013 because they made him a qualifying offer.

    Zack Greinke — This was the one target the Rangers seemed to genuinely want, but we were never so sure about just how good he really is. He ended up getting a ridiculous deal from the Los Angeles Dodgers to be their No. 2 starter and even negotiated an out in his contract that would allow him to leave after three years if things don't work out well for him.

    R.A. Dickey — The Blue Jays just acquired the 38-year-old knuckleballer for their best prospect, which would be equal to the Rangers dealing Jurickson Profar, something they didn't want to do. The Mets would have reportedly taken Mike Olt and other prospects, but who's to say the Mets wouldn't have flipped Olt considering they just signed third baseman David Wright to what is essentially a lifetime contract.

    James Shields — See above. The Royals gave up a tremendous package of prospects to the Rays to land Shields, who's really good, but not Profar/Andrus good. And that's probably what it would've taken to get him from Tampa Bay.
    Justin Upton — Again, see above. The Rangers seemed deadset on keeping Profar and Andrus together, and that wasn't going to happen if they wanted Upton.
    Mike Napoli — The Rangers clearly knew something when they didn't make a one-year qualifying offer to Napoli. Now, it seems Napoli's physical might have come back with something negative considering it's been more than a week since the physical in Boston took place and the Red Sox have yet to make the signing official. They gave him $39 million for three years to play first base. That's a horrible, horrible overpayment.
    In looking at everything the Rangers have done this offseason, the only thing to scratch your head about is letting Koji Uehara walk off to Boston, who gave him a one-year deal worth just over $1 million, which seems incredibly cheap for what Uehara gave the Rangers last season. That one was a bit odd, unless he just didn't want to be back in Texas. That didn't seem to be the case, but who knows?
    The Rangers seem committed to giving their young guys a shot. Mike Olt, Leonys Martin and Profar all are highly coveted on the trade market, so other teams clearly believe in their talent. Now, it might be time to see what they can do under the bright lights.