2023 Preview: Texas Rangers

Thu Mar 23 10:16am ET
Field Level Media

Texas Rangers

2022 record: 68-94, fourth in American League West

Offseason headlines: Hard feelings over the outcome of the 2010 World Series are forgotten now that then-Giants manager Bruce Bochy is in the Texas clubhouse. The Rangers lured the 67-year-old skipper out of retirement with a three-year deal in October. Bochy, who won two more rings in 2012 and 2014, left San Francisco after the 2019 season with 2,003 career wins. He will have a rebuilt rotation to work with, anchored by two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom. Texas also signed former All-Star RHP Nathan Eovaldi and LHP Andrew Heaney, traded for former All-Star RHP Jake Odorizzi and retained 2022 All-Star LHP Martin Perez on a one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer. The Rangers added OF Robbie Grossman but lost lefty reliever Matt Moore to the Angels.

Spring storylines: One year after Texas invested half a billion dollars in signing SS Corey Seager and 2B Marcus Semien, all eyes in the Cactus League were on the pitchers this spring. Looking sharp in his March 19 debut in the desert, deGrom registered four strikeouts in three scoreless innings against the Mariners -- twice hitting 100 mph on the radar gun. Odorizzi (arm fatigue) won't be ready by the opener and OF Leody Taveras (oblique) is a maybe. Southpaw reliever Brett Martin (shoulder) was moved to the 60-day IL on Feb. 17. 1B Nathaniel Lowe had a .936 OPS through 16 spring contests, coming off a Silver Slugger Award-winning season in 2022.

Young guns: Slowed by injuries to his foot in 2021 and shoulder in 2022, 3B Josh Jung (No. 8 overall pick in 2019) is ready to shine after a great spring. RHP Owen White, the club's top pitching prospect per MLB Pipeline, also looks healthy after 2019 Tommy John surgery and a broken hand in 2021. Second-generation RHP Jack Leiter (No. 2 pick in 2021) soaked up knowledge from special instructor Greg Maddux and pitching coach Mike Maddux this spring.

Fall feeling: Texas lost a ton of games (196) over the past two seasons, but also spent a ton of dough over the past two offseasons to put a winner on the field. With a likely Hall of Famer now calling the shots in Bochy and pitching talent to complement the power of Seager (33 homers in 2022), Lowe (27), OF Adolis Garcia (27) and Semien (26), the Rangers have the pieces in place to give the Astros a scare and make a run at their first championship.

Odds, even: The Rangers haven't finished better than third in the division since winning back-to-back AL West titles in 2015-16. DraftKings (+850), PointsBet (+900) and FanDuel (+1000) expect the trend to continue in 2023.

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