Rangers’ Chris Young talks free agency at GM meetings

How does a front office convince potential free agents to come to a club after a 102-game losing season?

Rangers general manager Chris Young is up to the challenge, he said at GM meetings in Carlsbad, Calif., On Tuesday.

“You have the opportunity to be a part of something that has never been done in Texas Ranger baseball history,” Young said when asked about his free agent pitch. “And that’s being part of a world championship team that was built from the ground up, and you come in early.

“Now is the time to buy Rangers shares. This is how I feel. And that’s as a player, that’s what you want to hear. You see the good things happening. And I think getting there early and being a part of it makes it even more special.

Young, in his second offseason as Rangers general manager, has been tasked with pulling the club out of the end of its rebuild. It started with tearing everything down, including the trade of Elvis Andrus in the last offseason for the As and Joey Gallo for the Yankees on the trade deadline.

Now Young and the Rangers are rebuilding themselves. He and baseball operations president Jon Daniels have pledged to be active in free agency this winter, and Young added that Texas will also be navigating the commercial market.

Daniels said Rangers payroll going forward should be consistent with a market the size of Dallas-Fort Worth.

“I think there are a number of ways we can look to improve our club, and we are exploring all avenues,” Young said. “We have a certain financial flexibility that allows us to be creative, and we see this as a multi-year approach. This is what impacts us for the next few years, and how we can build a championship team. What decisions we are making right now have an impact not only in 2022, but beyond. “

Young stressed at the end of the season that the Rangers are looking to improve everywhere and that no position will be awarded to anyone. All eyes will be on the active shortstop market this winter, but Rangers were one of many teams to watch former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander pitch at a showcase this week.

Young has said he prefers not to comment on specific players, but Dallas-Fort Worth natives Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard could be free agent targets. Trevor Story, from Irving, TX, is one of the many shortstops out there.

“I don’t think we expect to be World Series contenders next season,” Young said. “That said, we do plan to take some important steps away from where we were this year and continue to build that so that by 2023 we are in a very good position and competing for the division and have the possibility of making the playoffs and potentially winning a world series.

Prospect n ° 5 Huff closed
Rangers catching prospect Sam Huff made his MLB debut in 2020 and appeared in 10 games. He seemed ready for a breakout, but he’s struggled since.

Huff, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the organization’s No.5 prospect, underwent knee surgery after a spring training injury and started the Minor League season late this year. He didn’t catch at all in 2021. Then Huff suffered a setback with the same knee in the Arizona Fall League.

The Rangers stopped him after twisting his knee during warm-ups. Huff should be ready to start catching again by spring training, although he’s unlikely to make the opening day roster.

“Surgery takes time, regardless of the size of the procedure,” Young said. “Certainly you can’t predict how the recovery is going to go, and Sam has really matured in the way he’s handled all of those challenges this year. I am very confident that he will have a great year 2022.

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