Daniels on Texas direction: 'This is not a rebuild'

Daniels on Texas direction: 'This is not a rebuild'

ARLINGTON -- General manager Jon Daniels made it clear on the direction of the Rangers going into the offseason.

"This is not a rebuild," Daniels said Wednesday. "We expect to win. We are always going to have that mindset. That is going to be the internal expectation. We have a plan we are comfortable with going forward with in building a talent base. I'm very confident of that."

The Rangers are in the process of trying to rebuild a contender out of a ballclub that went 78-84 this season. The Rangers were in a Wild Card race until the final two weeks but still finished with a losing record for only the second time in the past nine seasons.

The Rangers know most of the work will be done toward the pitching staff. The Rangers have Cole Hamels and Martin Perez returning to the rotation and a bullpen that includes right-handers Keone Kela and Matt Bush, and left-handers Jake Diekman and Alex Claudio. Everything else is up in the air.

"We are going to remake half the staff," Daniels said. "That is a challenge we are going to continue to address. We need to add wisely on the pitching side this offseason for us to achieve our goals and win. I do believe there is an opportunity for us to do that. If we execute that, we have a chance to have a really good club."

The wild card for the Rangers and all other clubs is Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Ohtani, who currently plays for the Nippon Ham Fighters. Ohtani is expected to be posted by the Fighters this winter and the Rangers will be among the teams in line.

"Obviously, he's got a team right now and I don't think a formal decision has come down," Daniels said. "We are not hiding anything. If the Fighters ultimately post Ohtani, you are going to have 30 interested clubs, of which we'll be right there with them.

"How that process goes, I don't think we know yet. To what end or how we'll go about it, we are not the ones dictating the process. He seems like an extremely talented player, a pioneer in a lot of ways. If it comes to that, I'm sure we'll be involved."

Ohtani will be the most coveted free agent, but there other attractive free agents from the Major League market including Yu Darvish, Jake Arrieta, Andrew Cashner, Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn and Jason Vargas among others. Competition will be fierce, Daniels said.

"It is going to be a demand heavy and supply poor market," Daniels said. "There are some good players available but we are going to have to be good. We are going to have to make good decisions. Use our resources wisely. Other teams have similar wishlists. We know it's going to be a competitive marketplace so that's why we are going to have to do our jobs well.

"We didn't achieve our goals this year. Clearly we have quite a bit of work to do."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.