The Texas Rangers have splashed around quite a bit of money in recent years. A couple years ago they landed Yu Darvish. They traded for Prince Fielder. They signed Shin-Soo Choo. They have made numerous moves and been in the mix for many others.
As such once associates them with the juggernauts of Major League Baseball, one of the big-spending teams that will always be a threat. In some ways that is true, but as the Rangers themselves would remind you, they haven’t even been the best team in their own division the last couple years.
General manager Jon Daniels recently said the following about how things stack up in the American League West in 2014 (quotes from the Dallas Morning News):
“It started with the realization we’ve been passed…Oakland has won the division two years in a row. We’re not the team to beat.
‘”Internally we think we are, but from an industry standpoint we’ve been passed. Let’s accept that.”
If you had announced two years ago that the Rangers would have failed to win the division in either 2012 or 2013, that would not have been a crazy theory on its own. But if you had said it would be the Oakland A’s winning it and not the Los Angeles Angels with their new toys (Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, et al), that would have been harder to believe.
That is exactly what happened, though, and so the Rangers find themselves looking up at Oakland while still keeping an eye on the team that has Mike Trout. The AL West should be competitive once again in 2014.