The Rangers are back in the World Series and will look to win it all for the very first time. Texas will now get a chance to host their own Fall Classic after Globe Life Field played host to it three years earlier. And in a lot of ways, the Rangers’ 2023 AL pennant can be traced back to the moments after the 2020 World Series. Here’s a look at how the Rangers got to the 2023 World Series.
Smart Signings and Trades
Realistically, the Rangers’ road to the 2023 AL pennant and the World Series could be tracked all the way back to 2020 — or late 2019, thanks to the trade that sent OF and 2023 ALCS MVP Adolis Garcia to Texas from St. Louis for cash — and the subsequent offseason.
Following a 22-38 year in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Texas’ front office received a shakeup when former Padre Chris Young was hired to become GM in December 2020 — and would eventually take over Jon Daniels’ president role in August 2022.
From that point forward, the Rangers made a flurry of moves in the 2020-21 offseason that would shape this team’s roster.
- Traded Lance Lynn to Chicago (AL) for P Dane Dunning and P Avery Weems in December 2020
- Traded C Heriberto Hernandez, SS Osleivis Basabe, and OF Alexander Ovalles to Tampa for 1B Nathaniel Lowe and 1B Jake Guenther in December 2020
- Traded SS Elvis Andrus and C Aramis Garcia to Oakland for OF Khris Davis, C Jonah Heim, and P Dane Acker in February 2021
Those three pieces highlighted in bold — Dunning, Lowe, and Heim — plus Garcia all played vital roles for the Rangers both in the regular season and postseason this year.
Dunning gave Texas much-needed innings in the regular season. Heim hit a couple of bombs in the ALCS and drove in 95 during the regular season. As for Garcia, “El Bombi” hit .327 with seven home runs and 20 RBI through the first three rounds.
From there, the Rangers added in the winter of 2021 when Texas inked infielders Marcus Semien and Corey Seager to massive deals. The duo proved to be exceptional power hitters from the middle infield prior to joining Texas and the two proved to be worth every dollar over the past two seasons.
Then, there were the additional moves over the past 12 months. Texas overhauled the rotation last winter with Jacob deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi, the latter of whom was an exceptional playoff performer in Boston and did the same in the 2023 AL portion of the playoffs.
In the summer, Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery were added to beef up a banged-up rotation. The two put up strong results in the regular season and Montgomery — who was dealt for the second time in a calendar year this past summer — gave up six earned runs in 25 innings leading up to the Fall Classic.
In reality, the Rangers’ rise looked awfully familiar to what the Phillies did last year. A team filled with big-name free agent signings and trade pickups all came together to form a nucleus good enough to take down the Rays, Orioles, and Astros — not too shabby.
A Collection of Homegrown Talent
No team can make it to the World Series without homegrown talent. The Rangers’ roster might not have much of it but the ones who were stood out this year.
OF Leody Taveras hit a massive home run off of Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the ALCS and provides stellar defense in center. 3B Josh Jung had himself a strong rookie season and provided some big hits for the Rangers.
Then, there’s Evan Carter. The star prospect came up in September to help out in the outfield after Adolis Garcia went on the IL and proved he belonged. Like Jung, Carter provided a punch to a stacked lineup with a .308/.449/.538 slash line through 12 postseason games.
A Look Ahead to the World Series
The two starts that Scherzer had in the ALCS have to be a concern heading into the Fall Classic. On the other hand, Montgomery and Eovaldi have been incredibly sharp and the Rangers’ bullpen has been able to shut things down late for the most part.
As for the lineup, very few teams in the Majors had as good of an offense as the Rangers in the regular season — and those teams are already out.
Texas sits in a strong position right now but a date with either the Diamondbacks or Phillies awaits.