Texas still a World Series threat

Yu Darvish had a 2.21 ERA with more than a strikeout per inning in September. Matthew Emmons/US Presswire

Texas Rangers fans might be forgiven if they've found their team's offseason more than a little underwhelming thus far. After all, Texas watched a huge part of its offense depart via free agency or trade in Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young, then saw Mike Adams, Ryan Dempster, Scott Feldman and Koji Uehara defect from the pitching staff as well. Adding insult to injury, they lost out on Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Dodgers and have so far been unable to consummate their long-rumored interest in Justin Upton.

As they've watched their division rivals in Los Angeles -- the Angels -- reload with Hamilton and a rebuilt pitching staff, the sum of the Texas' free agent acquisitions to this point has been one-year contracts for Lance Berkman, Jason Frasor, A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto, plus a two-year deal for injured reliever Joakim Soria. Yet despite the seemingly disappointing winter, there's still plenty of reason for optimism in Arlington, and it's not hard to argue that the 2013 Rangers could be just as good -- if not better -- than the Texas team that led the AL West for nearly all of 2012.