Texas Rangers – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-01-23T15:31:55Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Cuban Shortstop Yolbert Sanchez Cleared To Sign With MLB Teams]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=145726 2019-01-23T06:01:19Z 2019-01-23T06:01:19Z Shortstop Yolbert Sanchez has left Cuba and has been cleared by Major League Baseball to sign with teams beginning on Feb. 5, Eric Longenhagen and Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs report. The 21-year-old (22 in March) will be subject to MLB’s international bonus pool system.

Sanchez’s stats in his limited professional experience won’t wow anyone — he’s a .297/.338/.345 hitter in 435 plate appearances — but McDaniel and Longenhagen nonetheless paint him as a likely seven-figure bonus recipient due to his raw speed, glovework at shortstop and arm strength — each of which are considered by scouts to be anywhere from above average to plus. Their report notes that scouts view him as the type of prospect who’ll typically command a bonus between $2-4MM.

Certainly, that bodes well for the Orioles, who still have upwards of $6MM in their international bonus pool after whiffing on prospects Victor Victor Mesa, Victor Mesa Jr. and Sandy Gaston when the trio signed early in the 2018-19 offseason (the Mesa brothers with the Marlins; Gaston with the Rays).

Of course, the mere fact that the Orioles presently have the most money at their disposal doesn’t by any means make Baltimore a lock to sign Sanchez. The O’s, after all, had the ability to make larger offers to the Mesa brothers and Gaston but did not ultimately ink any of the trio. It’s also possible that they don’t view Sanchez as a prospect who should command such an investment — or at least that they don’t like him to the same extent as another organization with millions remaining in its bonus pool. Beyond that, Sanchez could technically opt to wait until July 2 to sign, at which point bonus pools would reset and present him with a vastly larger list of suitors.

While Baltimore is the runaway leader in remaining pool space, McDaniel and Longenhagen write that the Dodgers, Cubs and Phillies are among the teams with the most resources remaining. MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez adds the Cardinals to the mix, noting that St. Louis has an estimated $1.85MM remaining in its pool. Sanchez pegs the Dodgers at about $1.4MM, the Phillies at roughly $1MM and the Cubs, Rangers and Red Sox in the $750-800K range. Sanchez will hold workouts for teams later this week in the Dominican Republic, per Fangraphs’ report.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers Sign Zach McAllister]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=145609 2019-01-22T22:53:27Z 2019-01-22T22:21:52Z 4:21pm: The Rangers have now formally announced the addition of McAllister on a one-year deal. Their 40-man roster is now full, meaning they’ll need to make a corresponding move once Asdrubal Cabrera’s reported one-year agreement becomes official.

3:55pm: The Rangers are in agreement on a one-year, Major League contract with veteran right-handed reliever Zach McAllister, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The Excel Sports client will earn a $1MM salary in 2019, and Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets that he can boost his earnings via an incentives package.

McAllister, 31, struggled through an awful 2018 campaign with the Indians and Tigers, posting a combined 6.20 ERA in 45 innings of relief between the two clubs. He did turn in a quality 39-to-10 K/BB ratio in that time, though, and McAllister’s 95.3 mph average fastball velocity was as strong as ever. Additionally, he actually made some gains in swinging-strike rate and particularly on his opponents’ chase rate on out-of-zone pitches.

It’s also worth noting that McAllister was a quality reliever for Cleveland from 2015-17, during which time he turned in a 2.99 ERA with 10.0 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 through 183 1/3 innings of work. Texas has plenty of open spots in its relief corps behind closer Jose Leclerc and the re-signed Jesse Chavez, so it’s not all that surprising to see the organization add an affordable veteran arm. If McAllister can successfully rebound to his 2015-17 form, he’d presumably become a trade asset for the Rangers this summer.

The Rangers organization has yet to announce the move, but Texas did announce a trio of minor league signees today — right-handers Taylor Guerrieri and Michael Tonkin, as well as catcher Tony Sanchez. Each will be invited to Major League Spring Training. Tonkin’s addition was already covered here at MLBTR earlier this month.

Guerrieri, 26, made his MLB with the Blue Jays this past season but only appeared in nine games, totaling 9 2/3 innings with a 4.66 ERA (five runs allowed). A former first-round pick and top prospect with the Rays, Guerrieri’s career has been slowed by injury — most notably including Tommy John surgery in 2013. He’s also served a 50-game suspension in the minor leagues (for a “drug of abuse” as opposed to a performance-enhancing substance). Guerrieri has pitched to a 3.31 ERA in parts of two Double-A seasons (182 innings) but has not yet found much in the way of success in Triple-A or the Majors.

Sanchez, now 30 years of age, was a first-rounder himself back in ’09 but has appeared in just 52 big league games with a .257/.301/.375 slash to his name through 156 plate appearances. He’s a career .253/.340/.403 hitter in nearly 2000 Triple-A plate appearances, though, and he’ll give Texas some depth behind 40-man options that include Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Jeff Mathis and Jose Trevino. Jett Bandy, too, will be in camp with the Rangers as a non-roster invitee.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers To Sign Asdrubal Cabrera]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=145567 2019-01-22T18:01:38Z 2019-01-22T16:53:22Z The Rangers have agreed to a one-year deal with veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, pending a physical, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). The deal promises him $3.5MM, per ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan (via Twitter).

Initial indications are that Cabrera will primarily line up at third base in Texas. With the team’s middle-infield duo already settled, that certainly makes sense. No doubt, the chance for regular duty was a large part of the draw for the long-time big leaguer.

Cabrera, 33, has spent most of his career in the middle infield, with the lion’s share of that time coming at shortstop. He has lined up at third in recent seasons, but still only has accumulated 471 2/3 frames at the hot corner — representing less than four percent of his total action in the field at the game’s highest level.

While Cabrera has at times actually drawn improved grades on his glove at short in recent years, particularly in the eyes of UZR, his range has long represented a major demerit. Since he’s otherwise a surehanded fielder, and clearly has the arm to work on the left side of the infield, suggests that third base represents a sensible position.

Of course, the calling card for Cabrera remains his bat. He has actually turned things up over the past three years, posting a cumulative .274/.334/.456 slash in that span that’s reflective of his best earlier-career campaigns. The switch-hitter hits for a high average, delivers a fair bit of pop (23 home runs in 2018), and has long succeeded against both right- and left-handed pitching (career .752 OPS vs. .759 OPS, respectively).

In many regards, this seems to be a bit of a bargain rate for a solid veteran who has delivered so much offense in recent seasons. Though he fell just off of MLBTR’s list of the top fifty free agents, receiving honorable mention consideration, Cabrera is younger than Jed Lowrie (who signed for two years and $20MM) and easily outperformed Brian Dozier (one year, $9MM) at the plate last year.

Trouble was, this year’s market (including free agents and trade candidates) was loaded with players who could handle second and/or third base. Among them, Marwin Gonzalez, Mike Moustakas, Josh Harrison, Derek Dietrich, Neil Walker, Logan Forsythe, and others remain available on the open market (in addition, of course, to superstar Manny Machado). As it turns out, Cabrera will land just shy of Ian Kinsler in total guarantee, though he’ll avoid handing over control of another season via club option.

With the move, the Rangers will fill the void created when they traded Jurickson Profar earlier in the offseason. Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor will remain entrenched at shortstop and second base, respectively, though it surely doesn’t hurt that Cabrera could step in at either position if a need arises. Slugger Joey Gallo will presumably range the outfield, though he’s also an option at third base if there’s a need.

In conjunction with some other veteran additions — veteran backstop Jeff Mathis, three starters (Lance Lynn, Drew Smyly, Shelby Miller), and reliever Jesse Chavez — the Rangers have certainly shored up their roster. Among those acquisitions, only Mathis and Lynn required multiple years, and none of the salaries represents a major outlay for an organization that has a history of significant payrolls and is readying for a new stadium boost.

All in all, there’s greater upside on hand than you might have expected, particularly if a few key young players can make strides. Still, it’s tough to see this group making a strong run in a top-heavy American League. Maintaining a reasonably competitive product won’t allow the Rangers to pocket cost-savings and draft picks to the extent they might have otherwise, but it should help boost revenue and fan interest in the near-term. It’ll be interesting to see how the roster reloading effort shakes out in Texas.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers Have Been In Contact With Clay Buchholz]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=145428 2019-01-21T19:34:28Z 2019-01-21T19:34:28Z The Rangers have dramatically revamped their rotation this offseason by adding Drew Smyly, Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller (in addition to selecting Edinson Volquez to the 40-man roster), but Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets that the Texas organization has also “been in contact” with free-agent righty Clay Buchholz. He further qualifies that there’s “no word” whether a deal between the two sides is close, but the connection is nonetheless of some note.

It’s been a quiet season in terms of teams being connected to Buchholz. The 34-year-old was nothing short of spectacular in 2018, as he turned in 98 1/3 brilliant innings with the D-backs after being cut loose by Kansas City. With Arizona, Buchholz pitched to a 2.01 ERA with 7.4 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 0.82 HR/9 and a 42.6 percent ground-ball rate in 16 starts.

The veteran Buchholz looked to be positioning himself for a multi-year contract in free agency, but he unfortunately suffered a flexor mass strain in his right forearm that truncated his season in September. The injury didn’t require surgical repair — Buchholz underwent a platelet-rich plasma injection — but did give teams some understandable cause for concern, especially when considering his injury history. Buchholz did, after all, miss nearly the entire 2017 season due to a flexor tear in his right arm and also missed substantial time in 2015 due to a flexor strain.

For the Rangers or any other pitching-needy team, Buchholz is a sensible buy-low option — likely on a one-year deal, depending on the current state of his forearm and progress he’s made in rehabbing the injury. Joining the Rangers and their homer-happy home park may not be the most appealing option for Buchholz, though Miller wasn’t deterred by that concept when signing a one-year deal with Texas.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Shawn Tolleson Announces Retirement]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144902 2019-01-16T23:26:15Z 2019-01-16T23:26:15Z Former Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson announced his retirement from baseball on Wednesday. The right-hander had previously signed a minor league contract with Texas and planned to head to Major League Spring Training and compete for a job. However, the Rangers’ release today revealed that he’s experienced a setback in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Said Tolleson in a statement, via the Rangers:

My intention was to compete for a position on the Rangers’ Major League pitching staff in 2019. With that no longer being a possibility, I have decided this is the right time to retire from professional baseball and move on to the next chapter of my life. I want to thank the Texas Rangers organization for all of their assistance in my rehab over the last year. It was a dream come true to pitch for my hometown team for three years, and my family and I will always be grateful for that opportunity.

From 2014-15, Tolleson was a high-quality late-inning option for the Rangers — first as a setup man and then as a closer. Over the course of those two seasons, he worked to a 2.88 ERA with 9.1 K/9 against 2.8 BB/9 in 144 innings — highlighted by a terrific 35-save campaign in 2015 that earned him a 10th-place finish in American League Cy Young voting.

Back injuries limited Tolleson to 36 1/3 innings in 2016, though, during which time he struggled to a 7.68 ERA. Following that rough campaign, he signed on with the Rays but required Tommy John surgery in Spring Training. He’d go on to miss each of the next two season as he recovered.

Tolleson’s career will be far more abbreviated than he or any of his three big league organizations would’ve otherwise hoped, but he’ll nevertheless retire with a lifetime 3.92 ERA, a 14-8 record, 46 saves, 8.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 spread across parts of five big league seasons between the Dodgers and his hometown Rangers.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rangers Claim John Andreoli]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144647 2019-01-15T20:09:06Z 2019-01-15T20:02:59Z The Rangers have claimed outfielder John Andreoli off waivers from the Mariners, according to club announcements. He had been designated for assignment recently.

Whether this’ll be the final landing spot for Andreoli remains to be seen. He was bumped from the Orioles’ 40-man at the end of October, landing back in Seattle — where he spent the bulk of the 2018 season.

Andreoli began his career with the Cubs organization, but never cracked the bigs there despite three consecutive full seasons (2015-17) at Triple-A. He made it up to the majors for the first time last year, but received only minimal opportunities. Through nearly two thousand career plate appearances at the highest level of the minors, Andreoli is a .264/.371/.408 hitter with 121 stolen bases.

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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Pitching Market Rumors: Giants, Gray, Rangers, Allen, Scrabble]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144456 2019-01-15T01:35:23Z 2019-01-14T23:21:25Z The pitching market continues to proceed at a steady but unhurried pace, with today’s reunion between the Giants and Derek Holland marking the latest signing of note. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle was among those to cover the news from the team’s perspective. While the organization has undergone front office changes since Holland wrapped up a solid performance on a one-year deal in 2018, new president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi still made the call to bring back the southpaw. That was due in no small part to the club’s positive experience with him last year, both on and off the field. Zaidi emphasized that the team still wants to find more rotation depth this winter, though it’s far from clear that any further MLB signings will be pursued. It certainly seems possible that the club will add plausible rotation pieces via trade or on minor-league deals.

Here’s the latest on the pitching market:

  • Talks surrounding Sonny Gray have “ramped up” since Yankees’ lefty CC Sabathia was cleared to resume baseball activities last week, Fancred’s Jon Heyman tweets. The Yankees are discussing Gray with six teams, including the Reds, per Heyman, though previous reports had indicated that Cincinnati’s interest had cooled off since adding Alex Wood and Tanner Roark. Gray agreed to a $7.5MM salary over the weekend, falling shy of MLBTR’s $9.1MM projection and perhaps making him a bit more appealing to clubs who’ve already added a fair bit of payroll this offseason.
  • The Rangers are maintaining interest in adding some free-agent arms to their bullpen and have been in recent contact with the representatives for right-handers Adam Ottavino and Cody Allen, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter links). However, the likelier route is that the Rangers will add multiple lower-cost relievers rather than one higher-end piece. Rosenthal adds Adam Warren to the list of potential Texas targets and notes that the Rangers are also still looking to add an infielder. Meanwhile, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune writes that the Twins still have interest in Allen. Minnesota was connected to Allen earlier this winter and has since signed Blake Parker, though they’re still in the market for additional relief help. Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey knows Allen quite well from his days in the Indians’ front office.
  • Free-agent lefty Marc Rzepczynski is hosting a showcase for big league teams tomorrow, tweets Fancred’s Jon Heyman. The 33-year-old southpaw struggled tremendously in 2018 both at the Majors and in Triple-A, and he’ll look to audition for clubs on what figures to be a minor league deal with a chance to reestablish himself as a credible option. “Scrabble” has worked as a lefty specialist for the bulk of his career, as he hasn’t topped 50 innings since 2011 despite averaging 64 MLB appearances per season from 2012-17. In his career, he’s held lefties to an awful .225/.296/.305 batting line through 857 plate appearances.
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Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rangers Rumors: Harrison, Solarte, Ottavino]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=144248 2019-01-13T14:33:34Z 2019-01-13T14:33:34Z
  • The Rangers have continued to discuss a couple of free-agent infielders – Josh Harrison and Yangervis Solarte – and stayed in contact with free-agent right-hander Adam Ottavino, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Either Harrison or Solarte, the latter of whom has already been in the Texas organization, could help fill the void for the departed Adrian Beltre and Jurickson Profar at third base. Ottavino, meanwhile, would be the priciest of the three to reel in, as he lags behind only Craig Kimbrel when it comes to current free-agent relievers. Contending clubs may be more realistic fits for the 33-year-old Ottavino than the Rangers, who don’t figure to push for a playoff spot in 2019.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Players Avoiding Arbitration: American League]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143898 2019-01-12T20:28:12Z 2019-01-12T20:19:32Z The deadline for players and teams to exchange arbitration figures passed at 1pm ET yesterday, meaning over the next few hours, there will be a landslide of settlements on one-year deals to avoid an arbitration hearing. We’ll track today’s minor settlements from the American League in this post. Once all of the day’s settlements have filtered in, I’ll organize them by division to make them a bit easier to parse.

    It’s worth mentioning that the vast majority of teams have adopted a “file and trial” approach to arbitration, meaning that once arbitration figures are exchanged with a player, negotiations on a one-year deal will cease. The two parties may still discuss a multi-year deal after that point, but the majority of players who exchange figures with their team today will head to an arbitration hearing.

    As always, all salary projections referenced within this post are courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, and we’ll also be updating our 2019 Arbitration Tracker throughout the day…

    Today’s Updates

    • Yankees 1B Greg Bird will make $1.2 MM next season, per Bob Nightengale on Twitter.
    • The controversial Roberto Osuna will make $6.5MM next season, per Feinsand. Teammate Jake Marisnick, who again scuffled in ’18 after a promising 2017, will make $2.2125MM.
    • Per Mark Feinsand on Twitter, A’s lefty Sean Manaea $3.15MM in what’s sure to be an injury-marred 2019.
    • Hard-throwing reliever Mychal Givens will make $2.15MM, per Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter), with additional incentives for making the All-Star team or placing in the Top-3 for the Rivera/Hoffman Reliever of the Year Awards, added MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter).
    • The Mariners agreed on a $1.95MM deal with outfielder Domingo Santana, per MLB.com’s Greg Johns (via Twitter). Santana is the second and last of the Mariners’ arbitration-eligible players.
    • The Angels agreed to contracts with a pair of players yesterday, per Maria Torres of the LA Times (via Twitter). Reliever Hansel Robles signed for $1.4MM. Robles threw 36 1/3 innings of 2.97 ERA baseball after the Angels claimed him off waivers from the Mets in June. Luis Garcia, acquired via trade from the Phillies this winter, signed for $1.675MM.
    • The Tigers and reliever Shane Greene settled on $4MM, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter).
    • The Yankees reached an agreement with Sonny Gray for $7.5MM, per Nightengale. Gray, of course, has been involved trade rumors most of the winter, but for the time being, he stands to play a role in the Yankee pen while providing insurance for the rotation.
    • Didi Gregorius has also come to an agreement with the Yankees on a one-year, $11.75MM deal in his final season before free agency, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter links).
    • New Yankee James Paxton signed for $8.575, per Nightengale (via Twitter). Paxton is under contract for the 2020 season as well.
    • The Houston Astros came to an agreement with Collin McHugh for $5.8MM, per Nightengale (via Twitter). McHugh could be moving back into the rotation after a stellar season in the pen, either way this will be his final season of arb eligibility before hitting the open market.
    • Jonathan Villar comes away with $4.825MM for what will be his first full season in Baltimore, per Nightengale (via Twitter).

    Earlier Updates

    Read more

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers Sign Shelby Miller]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143440 2019-01-10T13:37:16Z 2019-01-10T13:25:10Z Jan. 10: Miller can earn $1.25MM worth of bonuses based on days spent on the active roster and another $1.75MM worth of bonuses based on innings pitched, tweets Fancred’s Jon Heyman. The innings incentives kick in once he reaches 60 innings and cap out at 180 innings.

    Jan. 9, 5:00pm: The Rangers have announced the signing. Texas also formally announced its previously reported minor league signings of right-hander Jeanmar Gomez and infielder/outfielder Danny Santana. Both Gomez and Santana will be in Spring Training as non-roster invitees.

    4:20pm: Miller will receive a $2MM guarantee, tweets Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. ESPN’s Jeff Passan adds that incentives in the deal provide Miller with the opportunity to earn an additional $3MM. Rosenthal tweets that Miller has already passed his physical, meaning the deal is complete. Presumably, a formal announcement from the Rangers will follow in the near future.

    4:08pm: The Rangers are in agreement on a one-year, Major League contract with right-hander Shelby Miller, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets.

    Shelby Miller | Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Miller, a client of Roc Nation Sports, will be the latest addition for a Texas club that has worked to dramatically overhaul its starting rotation on the heels of a disastrous 2018 season. Texas added left-hander Drew Smyly in a trade at the outset of the offseason and has since signed Lance Lynn on a three-year contract and selected the contract of veteran righty Edinson Volquez, who was signed last offseason to a two-year minor league contract in the wake of Aug. 2017 Tommy John surgery. That quartet, presumably, will team up with lefty Mike Minor to comprise the Rangers’ rotation early in the 2019 campaign (health permitting).

    Certainly, it’s a group with plenty of potential, although it’s also one that comes with an extreme degree of uncertainty. Miller is perhaps the greatest wild card of the bunch, as the righty underwent Tommy John surgery early in the 2017 season and missed the bulk of the 2018 campaign due to a separate set of elbow issues. In all, Miller has been limited to just 38 innings across the past two seasons.

    Of course, it wasn’t that long ago that the now-28-year-old Miller looked to be one off the game’s most promising young pitchers. As a prospect, Miller was ranked within the game’s top 10 overall prospects by Baseball America heading into both the 2012 and 2013 seasons, and he did little to dispel the notion that he was a rising star with his early career work. Miller posted a 3.33 ERA over the life of 370 innings in his first two-plus seasons with the Cardinals from 2012-14 before being flipped to the Braves as part of a deal that sent then-star outfielder Jason Heyward from Atlanta to St. Louis.

    Miller’s lone season with the Braves looked nothing short of spectacular on paper, as he notched a career-best 3.02 ERA over the course of a career-high 205 1/3 innings. It was a strong year all around for Miller, but one in which he enjoyed a torrid two-month start to the season before delivering roughly league-average levels of output over the final four months. Even with some regression to be expected, however, he looked every bit the part of a quality big league starter, though the D-backs were widely criticized for surrendering a package of Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair in order to acquire him in the 2015-16 offseason.

    Lopsided as the trade appeared, no one could have foreseen the catastrophic collapse Miller experienced with Arizona in his first season there. The right-hander limped to a ghastly 6.15 ERA as he averaged a career-low K/9 (6.24) and a career-high BB/9 (3.74) and HR/9 (1.25). Miller was even demoted to Triple-A that season amid the most pronounced struggles of his career, and while he looked more promising in four starts early in the 2017 season, he then required the aforementioned Tommy John surgery that wiped out much of the 2017-18 seasons.

    For Texas, Miller represents a pure upside play at a minimal cost. While the homer-friendly Globe Life Park is hardly an ideal setting for Miller to attempt to rebuild his career, the Rangers can surely offer him a guaranteed rotation spot and were willing to commit a spot on the 40-man roster — a pair of enticements that many contending clubs may not have been willing to offer. If he’s able to round into form, he’ll be a highly appealing trade asset this summer, given the modest financial commitment at stake in this contract.

    As for the rest of the Rangers’ staff, Lynn will be looking to bounce back from an awful season split between the Twins and the Yankees — though he at the very least demonstrated some highly intriguing K/BB numbers after being traded from Minnesota to New York. The three-year term for Lynn was a surprise to most, but as a non-contending club in a hitter-friendly park, the Rangers likely had to top other suitors in convincing fashion. Meanwhile, neither Smyly nor Volquez has thrown a pitch since undergoing their own pair of Tommy John surgeries. Smyly missed all of the 2017 and 2018 seasons, while Volquez hasn’t thrown since late in the 2017 campaign. In the case of Volquez, this was his second career Tommy John procedure.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers, Michael Tonkin Agree To Minor League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=143340 2019-01-09T05:42:24Z 2019-01-09T05:42:24Z The Rangers have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Michael Tonkin, according to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News. The former Twins righty spent the 2018 season pitching for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in Japan. He’s represented by Wasserman.

    Tonkin, 29, posted a 3.71 ERA and saved a dozen games in 51 innings out of the Fighters’ bullpen, though his K/BB numbers took a dramatic turn for the worse in his lone season overseas. Missing bats was always a strong point for the lanky, 6’7″ righty when pitching in the Twins’ system, as he averaged 10.6 K/9 in parts of four Triple-A seasons and 9.2 K/9 in parts of five MLB campaigns. In Japan, however, he managed just a 33-to-23 K/BB ratio in those 51 frames — 5.8 strikeouts and 4.1 walks per nine innings.

    Throughout his five seasons with the Twins, Tonkin pitched to a 4.43 ERA over the life of 146 2/3 innings. Control wasn’t a significant issue for him (3.3 BB/9), but Tonkin proved to be increasingly homer-prone as his time in the Majors wore on. Ultimately, he averaged 1.54 homers per nine innings pitched in the Majors and saw his ERA spike north of 5.00 in each of his final two seasons.

    Tonkin averages 94 mph on his heater and pairs that primarily with a slider — a combo that resulted in a solid 11.3 percent swinging-strike rate from 2016-17. His penchant for serving up long balls doesn’t bode well for any time spent at Globe Life Park in Arlington, however, so the Rangers will need to curb that issue in a way the Twins couldn’t. He’ll be part of a fairly wide-open bullpen competition in Texas behind Jose Leclerc, Jesse Chavez and Chris Martin.

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    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Latest On Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=142670 2019-01-06T05:56:17Z 2019-01-06T00:11:33Z 6:11pm: Saunders notes that the Rockies did have discussions with Ottavino earlier in the offseason, but there’s “nothing imminent” now. Meanwhile, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News confirms the Rangers have had interest in Ottavino and Britton, though he doesn’t sense they’re “aggressively pursuing” either reliever.

    3:22pm: The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders tweets that, contrary to a prior report, the Rockies are “not in the mix” for Ottavino. The team already shelled out three-year deals for Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, and Mike Dunn last offseason, so it didn’t figure to have much remaining in the bank for another high-AAV reliever.

    2:53pm: The Yankees “remain in talks” with relievers Adam Ottavino and Zach Britton, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who adds that it’s “not out of the question” the club could bring both players aboard. Jon Heyman of Fancred hears similarly, tweeting that the club is “working” on the bullpen while waiting to hear back from Manny Machado.

    In a separate tweet, Heyman notes that the Rangers are also in the mix for top free-agent relievers and could be a serious contender for the services of Ottavino and Britton.

    The stopper-insatiable Yanks, who last year rode a series of game-shorteners to their first 100-win season since 2009, and already boast three of the league’s best in Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, and Chad Green, seem hungry for more. Britton, acquired mid-season by New York from Baltimore last year, is reportedly seeking a four-year deal, which seems a bit rich for a 31-year-old on the heels of two injury shortened seasons.

    Britton’s grounder-heavy ways seem the last vestige from his 2014-16 peak with Baltimore, as the lefty induced a staggering 77.8% ground balls in his late-season stint with the Bombers. His bat-missing abilities, though, have showed little signs of life, with the former Oriole regressing to near his 7.41 K/9 career average in the last two seasons after striking out over ten per nine from 2015-16. The velocity, however, has remained mostly steady, at an average of 95.6 MPH, and could perhaps be what the club is banking on in the years to come.

    Ottavino, a New York City native, timed his career year perfectly last season, posting an outrageous 63 FIP-/52 ERA- in the wide open spaces of Coors Field, and striking out nearly 13 men per nine. With an unorthodox, cross-body delivery, the 33-year-old has been near-death on right-handed hitters in his career, surrendering a minuscule .273 wOBA (.346 vs LHH) against, and allowing just 0.75 HR/9 in the league’s most hitter-friendly park. His swinging strike rate of 12.1%, though, despite being well above his career average, didn’t rank among the league’s top 70 qualified relievers, which could be of concern, given the aging righty’s walk-heavy profile.

    The Rangers, who don’t appear to have any near-terms hopes of competing, are somewhat of a shocking entry to the upper reaches of the free-agent ’pen market. The club’s relievers, too, weren’t much to blame for another poor showing in 2018, as the unit posted above-average park-adjusted marks (93 ERA-, 96 FIP-, 99 xFIP-) across the board, though lynchpins Keone Kela and Alex Claudio were strangely jettisoned in recent months. Jesse Chavez returns, along with a lights-out Jose Leclerc, so perhaps the club is looking to shorten the game substantially after having so much recent trouble identifying quality rotation options. A sign-and-flip could also be in the cards, though the risk inherent in that strategy, with two thirty-something relievers, may just outweigh the reward.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rangers Claim Luke Farrell]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=142516 2019-01-04T19:58:26Z 2019-01-04T19:58:26Z The Rangers announced Friday that they’ve claimed right-hander Luke Farrell off waivers from the Angels. Farrell had been designated for assignment last week when the Halos signed free-agent catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

    Farrell, 27, joined the Angels organization in September after being claimed from the Cubs, though he never actually threw a pitch for the Angels. He spent the rest of the 2018 campaign in the Chicago organization, pitching to a 5.17 ERA with 11.2 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 2.01 HR/9 and a 30.6 percent ground-ball rate in 31 1/3 innings for the Cubs. Farrell’s 3.64 ERA in 51 1/3 Triple-A innings was considerably more respectable and was fueled by a vastly superior 0.66 HR/9 mark; his K/BB numbers in the minors this past season were fairly similar to those he posted at the MLB level.

    The son of former Red Sox skipper John Farrell, Luke has totaled 44 1/3 MLB frames over the past two seasons, spending time with the Royals and Reds in addition to his work with the Cubs. He does have a minor league option remaining and has worked extensively as a starter in the minors, so he’ll give Texas some optionable depth and a flexible piece that can pitch in multiple roles.

    Texas also formally announced a pair of previously reported minor league signings: right-handers Rafael Montero and Adrian Sampson will both be in Major League camp as non-roster invitees this spring.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rangers Discussed Three-Team Deal With Yankees, Braves]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=142132 2019-01-02T15:48:25Z 2019-01-02T14:39:23Z
  • Before the Rangers dealt Jurickson Profar to the Athletics as part of a three-team trade with the Rays, Texas also explored another three-team scenario involving the Yankees and Braves.  “There was traction, at one point,” Passan writes about a deal that would have seen the Yankees get Profar, the Braves get Sonny Gray, and Texas would have received a prospect (presumably from Atlanta’s farm system).

    [SOURCE LINK]
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Is Adam Jones A Fit For The Rangers?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=141965 2018-12-31T05:50:24Z 2018-12-31T05:50:24Z
  • Is Adam Jones a fit for the RangersMLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan believes so, opining that Jones’ right-handed bat would help balance out the team’s heavily left-handed outfield mix, plus Jones could provide clubhouse leadership to an increasingly young team.  There’s certainly an argument to be made for such a signing, or at least for a player of a similar mold, should Jones himself be a bit too expensive for the Rangers’ liking or if he only wants to play for a team aiming to contend in 2019.
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