ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Texas Rangers will be at spring training in Arizona while the finishing touches are being put on their new $1 billion-plus stadium back home.
All-Star slugger Joey Gallo also likes what is being built on the field.
Texas traded for two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber this offseason after veteran right-handers Jordan Lyles and Kyle Gibson signed to join the rotation. Catcher Robinson Chirinos is back after a year away and veteran third baseman Todd Frazier was also added to the roster.
“When you build a billion-dollar stadium, it’s probably good to win in it,” Gallo said. “We’re going to go try to sign the best guys and win games, so that’s exciting. … .Those are really good players. You’re not signing those guys just to be mediocre, you’re signing them to be a playoff team.”
General manager Jon Daniels tried to do even more, but top free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon signed with the AL West rival Los Angeles Angels. Daniels was still able to bolster a rotation that already had returning workhorse pitchers Mike Minor and Lance Lynn, and got a two-time All-Star third baseman.
The Rangers were 10 games over .500 before the All-Star break in manager Chris Woodward’s debut before faltering, but their 78 wins last season were 11 more than 2018.
Woodward and Daniels spoke often this offseason about how to build on that foundation.
“We wanted to make a competitive team … we’ve got a pretty formidable pitching staff now to go with some offensive players,” Woodward said. “Yeah, we expect to contend, and I think whether that’s ahead of schedule or behind schedule or whatever you want to say. … But if we’re not rebuilding, we expect to compete. Expectations are high.”
Pitchers and catchers report to Arizona on Feb. 11.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)