Chicago Cubs must differentiate themselves in Shohei Ohtani talks
By Jake Misener
Rangers looking to unseat the Astros in the Lone Star State
2015 – 2017 Record: 261-225 (.537 winning percentage)
On Monday night, the Rangers landed one of the top pitching free agents, inking Mike Minor to a multi-year deal. Of course, the club traded Yu Darvish to the Dodgers mid-year, leaving a hole in the rotation.
The offense is very well-balanced. Nomar Mazara followed up his fifth-place Rookie of the Year campaign with his first 100-RBI season in 2017. Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre give Texas a heavy-hitting left side of the infield and Joey Gallo mashed 41 long-balls. Adding pitching might be what puts the Rangers over the top moving forward – the club lost not only Darvish but also Andrew Cashner.
Pitching is key – and Ohtani might be the answer.
On MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospect list, Texas features the likes of Leody Taveras (27) and Willie Calhoun (59). Gallo is clearly the team’s most talented young player. His swing-and-miss tendencies are troubling, but fit into the league’s larger epidemic.
Developing young pitching to go with their quality core of position players will be the make-or-break for the Rangers. Ohtani could be the face of the franchise – one opening a brand-new ballpark in the coming years.
Texas helped Yu Darvish develop into one of the best pitchers in baseball. The resources are in place to do the same for Ohtani. Experience speaks for itself – it’s as simple as that.