Seager on new-look Rangers: 'Sky's the limit'

January 29th, 2023

ARLINGTON --  recalls his excitement at 's introductory press conference back in December. Standing on the concourse at Globe Life Field with a group of his teammates, the shortstop’s smile might have stood out among the rest.

"I'm assuming I was [smiling big], because I probably had the most at-bats against him," Seager said with a laugh at Rangers Fan Fest on Saturday. "He joked, like 'Come on, you're telling me you're not going to miss our battles?' Like no, not at all, not even a little bit. But yeah, obviously I’m really excited. He's definitely the guy, right? Just to have him in the organization be able to teach the guys that are coming up, have that presence of what it looks like, how he goes about it. So that'll be really good to have.

"I will not be doing live at-bats [in camp]," Seager added jokingly.  "I’ll save that for the other guys that want to know what it looks like. I already know what it looks like."

Seager undersells himself, having gone 5-for-14 with a .900 OPS against the Rangers’ new ace in his career, but there is no doubt that deGrom is the guy that Texas needed to propel the club forward. And he was just the first domino to fall this winter.

General manager Chris Young sold a vision to Seager and last offseason, one that was intent on building the foundation for a winning organization. He did the same this winter, signing a trio of starting pitchers in deGrom, and .

Even with the vision he bought into when signing last winter, Seager never expected the massive additions the Rangers would come to make.

"Not to this extent," Seager said. "Like, when we were going through it, [Young] said that he wanted to have a guy that can show the young guys right like what a No. 1 [pitcher] truly looks like. He went out and basically got three. To now have different perspectives, different hands throwing-wise, now to be able to really teach anybody and anything that we need or have experience in, it means the world. The sky's the limit."

Seager noted that, with how the roster has evolved, there’s no excuse for not winning anymore.

He also acknowledged the frustration that came with losing in 2022, when the Rangers finished with a 68-94 record. Before signing with Texas, Seager had spent his entire professional career with the Dodgers, where he never endured a season under .500 at the big league level. It was an adjustment for him, being in a situation that was the complete opposite with the Rangers, even after the additions of himself and Semien improved the lineup.

"Everything’s a lot easier when you’re winning," Seager said. "When you’re winning, things get covered up, relationships, things that happen, blah, blah, blah, right? And when you're not, it's trying to keep that in a room, keep it in a bubble, and keep it on the right path moving forward. You don't want losing to spin you out from the goal you're trying to succeed.

"I was never in that situation, where you're trying to get somebody to buy in or hop on board. I think that was probably the hardest part about last year, just trying to get everybody in the right direction, no matter if you're winning or losing. We took our lumps. They've taken the lumps the last couple of years, but we've still got to move this thing forward."

The Rangers' front office took the necessary steps to add talent on the field this offseason, that much is clear.

It’s a long way from where they were after a 102-loss season in 2021. It even feels like a long way from the conclusion of the 94-loss '22 season. But as the '23 club was introduced to fans at the Rangers Fan Fest, it became clear that a new era is off and running.

"When you’ve got the five guys that we have [on the mound], even six or seven guys, really, that can go out there and start for us now, it's much more comforting," Seager said. "It's more of the buy-in of expecting a win every night. There's no excuses now, as we're going out there. And why we can't at least expect to win? So, [we'll try to] get back into that, get back in the confidence of going out there and trying to win every night."