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Editor’s note: Matthew Obernauer, a former reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, worked in the Colorado Rockies front office from 2013 through 2021. When Andy Ibáñez lofted a lazy fly ball into short right field on October 3, 2021, cementing the last out in a 6–0 Texas Rangers defeat and the last out of the regular season, the moment was seen as the end of another sorry year for the club. It was the Rangers’ fifth straight campaign without making the playoffs, and with a 60–102 record in 2021, the team had broken the 100-loss barrier mark of extreme ineptitude. What the 28,396 fans at Globe Life Field that day likely didn’t expect was that the Rangers’ front office would devote its off-season to the largest winter…
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