The Texas Rangers reached the postseason in three-straight years between 2010-2012, including a trip to the World Series in 2011. However, after coming up short in all three seasons, the Rangers failed to make the playoffs in 2013, and they enter the offseason with plenty of question marks as a franchise that appears to be heading in the wrong direction after missing its chance. The front office will have plenty of important decisions to make this offseason, but three stand out beyond the rest at the top of the list of priorities.
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Important Decision #1: How To Shore Up The Rotations
The Rangers had a solid pitching staff in 2013, but there is room for improvement at the back end. Yu Darvish and Derek Holland were a big part of the reason that Texas finished with the seventh-best ERA in the majors at 3.99, but they could certainly use some more help at the back end. Matt Harrison and Martin Perez did enough in 2013 to earn consideration going forward, but the Rangers will certainly have some options in the offseason. Colby Lewis is a free agent, and Alexi Ogando has experience as a starter, but with several key free agents being floated around on the open market, Texas could stand to get in on at least one of them to shore up their starting five and prevent one of the other American League contenders from landing them.
Important Decision #2: Find A Reliable Closer
As much as there is a need at the back of the rotation, the Rangers could be in a tough spot if Joe Nathan decides to void his player option for another year. Texas has been fortunate to have Nathan in that role the last two years, but they will need to address the situation as quickly as possible to avoid missing out on him as well as some of the other free agents they will have passed on. Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz are among the options the Rangers could consider, but the most important decision will be how to handle Nathan and how quickly they can make sure he will either be back in the fold or not.
Important Decision #3: Add Some Power To The Line Up
The Rangers’ power numbers declined in 2013, which is a big reason why a team that has been so consistent over the years struggled. The potential return of Nelson Cruz must be addressed early on, and his return to Texas will be key to how they advance through free agency. Brian McCann is one name that has constantly been brought up when it comes to looking outside the organization, and the team could have some interest in Curtis Granderson depending on the status of Cruz. The Rangers should benefit from the arrival of rising star Jurickson Profar next year, but they must do more to address their power numbers after hitting a decline in 2013.
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