All the shrewd moves that got the Rangers to World Series

October 27th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Kennedi Landry’s Rangers Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

ARLINGTON -- When the Rangers were looking to add more depth pieces to the lineup this winter, Robbie Grossman received a call.

Texas had already committed around $500 million following the 2021 season to the contracts of Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. They then added pitching with Jacob deGrom, Jon Gray, Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney. But it wasn't done improving the roster.

“When the Rangers first called in the offseason, I saw the group that they're putting together and it was something really important to me,” Grossman explained. “I wanted to be a part of a good group and because I know how hard the season is, how hard a Major League season is and how long it is. I know the type of character you need in the clubhouse and [general manager Chris Young] deserves a lot of credit for putting this group together because he did a heck of a job. You can just see by our team chemistry and how well everyone gets along. It's some of the best stuff going around.”

The Rangers ownership deserves a lot of credit for committing money to building a powerhouse, but the front office has supplemented that with a slew of savvy trades and amateur signings that have improved the club just as much.

Here's how the Rangers built the starting lineup they've used for the majority of the postseason:

, 2B -- free agency
, SS -- free agency
, LF -- 2020 Draft
, RF -- 2019 trade
, DH -- 2022 trade
, C -- 2021 trade
, 1B -- 2020 trade
, 3B -- 2019 Draft
, CF -- 2015 international signing

“You look at all the possible verticals to build a roster and we've done that,” said offensive coordinator Donnie Ecker. “They've really put money on two position players and everything else is what I would just say is a good baseball decision. I wouldn't weigh any decision as big or small, I would just say every single small one is an incremental athletic advantage. So whether it's trading for Nate [Lowe] or Jonah Heim or signing Leody all those years ago, we feel proud of how they've gotten in the system, and how all their value has been driven.”

Seager and Semien, rightfully, get a lot of the fanfare. But García -- acquired via trade with the Cardinals in December 2019 for cash -- has been the breakout star of the postseason for the Rangers. The homegrown rookie duo of Jung and Carter have put themselves on the map. The catching duo of Garver (trade with Twins) and Heim (trade with A’s) have provided a phenomenal one-two punch of energy at any point of the lineup.  

“When you look at our lineup, we're getting production from everybody,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “The guys under the radar you don't hear much about -- I mean, a kid like Carter coming up. It's been different, on a daily basis, what part of the order has done a lot to produce runs for us. And so all the guys are a key for us. Sure, you want to hear about the Seagers and Marcus and those guys, but really it's been everybody and that's what's made it work for us.”

Bochy added that one of the biggest things that attracted him to this job in the first place was not only the talent at the Major League level, but throughout the system. It was the dedication of both ownership and the front office to continue finding creative ways to build a contender, year in and year out. 

“We've got some good young kids coming up not far away. So you should be excited if you're a Texas Ranger.”