The Texas Rangers were a lousy team in 2021, and, frankly, they have been bad for a while.
They finished last in the American League West with a 60-102 record.
But better times seem to be ahead.
Under the guidance of general manager Chris Young, the Rangers approached the 2021-22 offseason determined to make a splash in free agency.
They spent $175 million on Toronto Blue Jays middle infielder Marcus Semien.
Then, they handed out the biggest contract of the offseason so far: they signed Corey Seager, formerly on the Los Angeles Dodgers, to a 10-year, $325 million pact.
Corey Seager is a Texas Ranger
credit to acedits_._ on IG pic.twitter.com/2BpVwL4rQ5
— Patrick (@PatrickTXRanger) January 1, 2022
With so many contenders after his services, including the New York Yankees and the Dodgers themselves, it was shocking to see the Rangers winning the bid.
They already had up-and-coming talent Adolis Garcia, defensive wizard Isiah Kiner-Falefa, an underachieving former top prospect in Willie Calhoun (who is still full of potential), and solid young players Nathaniel Lowe and Nick Solak.
The roster can still use lots of improvements, especially on the pitching side, but as of now, it’s fair to wonder who is the Rangers’ top star.
Semien vs. Seager
Semien leads the majors in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) over the last three seasons combined, with 15.4.
He played the whole 162 games last year with the Jays, hitting .265/.334/.538 with 45 home runs, 115 runs, 102 RBI, and 15 stolen bases.
He also offered very good defense at second base, which is presumably the position he will play with the Rangers.
However, Seager is the Rangers’ biggest star.
Again, there is a chance Semien is the more complete player because he can run faster than Seager and is better with the glove.
But there is a reason he got $325 million and Semien received $175 million.
Injuries have affected Seager’s career, but when he is healthy, he is a game-changing offensive player.
For his career, Semien is a .256/.324/.444 hitter with a .768 OPS.
Seager, on the other hand, checks in at .297/.367/.504 with a .870 OPS.
If we consider that Semien broke out in 2019, then let’s compare the players’ ceilings.
That year, Semien posted his highest OPS with .892.
Seager had a .943 OPS in 2020 and a .915 mark this year.
He has also surpassed .800 five times in his career, and Semien has done it just twice while playing two more years in the majors.
A Truly Game-Changing Bat
Then, there is Seager in the playoffs.
He practically gave the Dodgers their 2020 title: he was named the National League Championship Series MVP and then the World Series MVP.
It was a truly impressive performance, and he got paid (a lot) because he is the best-hitting shortstop of this free agent class, and that includes Carlos Correa.
He has the potential of taking over a series, even in a loaded lineup.
Corey Seager is the best hitter on the Dodgers right now, and this is a team that also has Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger playing well
— Devan Fink (@DevanFink) October 22, 2020
Semien and Seager are the Rangers’ two best players and their biggest stars.
But if we have to choose one of them, Seager is the name to pick because his offensive floor and ceiling are off the charts.
He may be a burden in the last few years of his 10-year contract, but right now, he will be tasked with turning around a franchise that has been used to losing for a while.