SAN DIEGO -- For the past year, if not longer, the general assumption when it came to the Texas Rangers' finances was that ownership was biding its time for 2020.
The new ballpark, with the roof the owners wanted, would be ready for play.
The rebuild would be further along, with more known about the young players on the roster and with the farm system restocked and prospects closer to the majors.
Globe Life Field is nearly done. The Rangers will have new uniforms. Momentum is building.
Correction: Momentum is continuing.
The Rangers believe their 11-win gain from 2018 wasn't a mirage. With all of the positive things happening around the team, the jump toward contention it made in 2019 has as much to do with an apparent willingness to spend this offseason as anything else.
"Our focus is getting back into contention and staying there for an extended period, not doing something for marketing purposes or the wrong reason," general manager Jon Daniels said. "I think that's a little bit of a danger zone we are going to try and avoid.
"When things line up and it's the right player at the right position of the club, fits all around with the right contract, we are going to look to strike if possible."
Daniels and other members of the front office arrived Sunday to the winter meetings carrying expectations. They are considered a front-runner to land free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, a native Texan who rates as the top position player on the market.
Daniels has said all offseason that the Rangers will have more money to spend than the past few winters and that they'll be competing for top players. Another third baseman, Josh Donaldson, is another target if Rendon goes elsewhere.