Texas continued to invest in the 21st century, aiming for greatness. Although they didn’t win a World Series title, they were proud to be American League champions in both 2010 and 2011.
Texas continued to invest for a while afterward. They added Prince Fielder to their roster via trade, and before the 2014 season, they signed Shin-Soo Choo to a seven-year, $130 million deal. However, after winning district titles in 2015 and 2016, the team stopped investing for a while and went into rebuilding mode. The idea was to make a run in time for the opening of their new stadium, Globe Life Field, which cost an astronomical amount of money.
In 2021, the Texans’ biggest spend in free agency was on veteran starter Corey Kluber, totaling just $11 million for the entire year. The team decided it wasn’t the right time and stayed low-key in free agency. After seeing the development of several young players, the Texans began spending astronomical amounts of money in free agency in 2022. It was clear that the goal was to win the World Series.
Ahead of the 2022 season, Texas inked the then-most expensive shortstop in the game, Corey Seager, to a 10-year, $325 million mega-deal. It was the largest contract in Texas franchise history. The team then signed second baseman Marcus Semien to a seven-year, $175 million deal to round out the Keystone duo. Both players were expected to add power and explosiveness to the Texas lineup.
However, they underperformed and missed the postseason. It’s not that Seager and Schmidt didn’t perform as well as expected, but the bullpen was too weak. They did add some starting pitching in 2022, including John Gray (four years, $56 million), Jordan Lyles (one year, $7 million), and Garrett Richards (one year, $5 million), but they weren’t enough to change the weight of the rotation.
Sensing this, Texas spent money in a different direction in 2023. This time, it was starting pitching and the mound. They invested five years and $185 million in Jacob deGrom, who is arguably the best pitcher on the planet barring injury. When everyone was reluctant to give him more than three years, citing his injury history, Texas went straight ahead. Nathan Ivoldi (two years, $34 million), Andrew Heaney (two years, $25 million), and Martin Perez (one year, $19.6 million qualifying offer) were all top picks.
But the Texans’ plan was off to a rocky start. DeGrom was sidelined by injury again. After a shaky start to the season, he ended up on the operating table with a torn elbow ligament. It’s a major injury that will keep him out until 2024. It seemed like a repeat of the Texans’ history of failed free agent investments. But Texas didn’t give up. The offense was strong. They just needed to find an ace to lead the way on the mound. That’s why, when Max Scherzer became available from the season-abandoned New York Mets, they traded for him. Texas had nothing else. They were ready to do whatever it took to win.
They fought their way into the postseason, and in the Championship Series, they swept district rival and league powerhouse Houston in four games to three to advance to the World Series. It was their first World Series title in 12 years, since 2011, and after an 11-7 win over Arizona in Game 4 on Sunday, they are now 3-1 and one game away from winning the World Series.
In fact, neither Degrom nor Scherzer have been much help along the way. DeGrom started just six games this year. After going 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA, he was shut down. Scherzer pitched well in his first eight starts, going 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA, but struggled in the postseason following a season-ending injury and its aftermath. He suffered a back injury while pitching in Game 3 that ultimately cost him his spot on the roster.
But the investment paid off, as Ivoldi went 12-5 with a 3.63 ERA in 25 regular-season games this year, and then filled in for Scherzer in the postseason. Jordan Montgomery, who was acquired in a trade around the same time as Scherzer, came up big in the postseason 안전놀이터 after making a late-season save. Game 4 starter Andrew Heaney pitched five innings of one-run ball to help set the stage for the win.
Not to mention Seager’s performance. In 16 postseason games, he leads the team with a .306 batting average, six home runs, 12 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.136. Simeon, who had been in a postseason slump, had a heroic five-hit performance in Game 4 to help his team win. The team that invests wins, and maybe that’s the way it should be.